A model for streamlining Cochrane Review production: year one of an NIHR programme grant

Tags: Poster
Kew KM1, Welsh EJ1
1Cochrane Airways, United Kingdom

Background: To meet Goal 1 of Cochrane’s Strategy to 2020, review groups face the challenges of identifying the most relevant reviews for production, and finding and supporting dedicated and skilled authors to complete them to a high standard and in a timely manner.

External review teams often have multiple commitments and sometimes take longer to prepare their protocol and full review than is agreed at title registration. We have used our model for an NIHR programme grant to look at common delays and how review production can be streamlined.

Objectives: To analyse time taken to reach key review milestones in the first year of an NIHR programme grant, and identify common factors that streamline or delay review production.

Methods: The sample consisted of all new programme grant reviews in progress from May 2014 to May 2015. We analysed the time taken from title registration to protocol submission, protocol submission to protocol publication, protocol publication to review submission, and review submission to review publication. We logged successes and difficulties along the timeline.

Funded resources were a full-time systematic reviewer based in the Cochrane Airways office, one day per week of an additional researcher, and 0.5 days per week supervision. Co-authors and editorial support provided by Cochrane Airways staff were not funded by the grant.

Results: The grant comprises 25 review titles, 15 of which were in progress at the time of writing this abstract. Five reviews had been completed and submitted for editorial approval, four reviews were in development with published protocols, three protocols were in the editorial process, and three were in development. The poster will present total production time and milestone breakdowns both numerically and graphically as a Gantt chart. We will present key factors that streamlined or delayed production to inform future reviews.

Conclusions: We have found the model to be a successful way to produce priority reviews. Pairing funded methodologists with content experts streamlines production at several stages, but there is a lack of production time data across Cochrane with which to compare our results.