Objective: To give all Cochrane entities easy access to up-to-date contact information for all members of the Collaboration.
Methods: The management of contact details in the Collaboration will be improved in several ways. A crucial element in optimising the data quality is streamlining the flow of information so that all relevant information from entities or individuals is fed directly into a central database, and subsequently disseminated from there. Such an approach minimizes the duplication of both information and effort. Another key aspect is providing a system that is attractive to users in terms of both features and cost, which is achieved by developing the system internally.
Results: A new web-based contact management system has been developed and is currently running as a pilot project. It has demonstrated its superiority over the software tool previously used for providing central contact information (HIREx). As a consequence, the user base is currently being expanded to include all Cochrane centres, method groups and fields, as it also allows these entities to submit their modules.
Conclusion: Once fully implemented, this system will simplify tasks involving communication and administration across the entire Collaboration, as well as being a important building block in any future integrated Information Management System.