Background: Although the number of Cochrane reviews published each year seems to have stabilised, the number of non-Cochrane systematic reviews is still increasing at a rapid rate and over the years 2005 to 2007 accounted for more than two thirds of the systematic reviews indexed in MEDLINE. For that reason, it is important to identify factors which can impact on the number of people who want to be Cochrane authors, complete Cochrane reviews, and go on to update their reviews. Therefore, The Cochrane Collaboration Steering Group gave consent for the development of a Collaboration-wide survey of authors at its meeting in October 2006. It was anticipated that responses to this survey would provide a better understanding of the Cochrane review process from the authors’ perspective and identify strategies that can improve the process for authors thereby improving author retention and recruitment. In addition, it was expected that strategies which could enhance the quality and speed of review production and inform future planning for The Cochrane Collaboration would be identified. This survey builds on the expertise and experience of a number of groups within The Cochrane Collaboration who have done smaller targeted author surveys. Objectives: 1. To conduct an online survey of authors in regard to their experiences in conducting Cochrane reviews. 2. To identify strategies that may improve the process for authors. Methods: All authors of published protocols and reviews will be asked to respond to the survey which will run from May to June 2008. The online survey will be made available to authors through an e-mailed link and advertised widely through the author list, newsletters such as CC-Info and entity-based newsletters. All responses will be anonymous. Recent estimates of the number of Cochrane authors exceed 8800 with approximately 3400 of those being contact authors. Results: An overview of the results of this survey will be presented at the Freiburg Colloquium (in October 2008).
:[P04-33] A collaboration-wide survey of Cochrane authors
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