Special Sessions

The Call for Special Sessions is now closed and the list of special sessions have been finalized.

Special sessions are themed sessions held concurrently with oral presentations during the forenoon of the Colloquium Scientific Programme (22 to 26 September- 1100 hrs to 1230 hrs). Each special session lasts 90 minutes. These sessions accommodate presentations and discussions aimed at highlighting special issues that might be of interest to participants at the Colloquium and that further Cochrane’s goals, but require more time than provided by oral presentations, or do not fit the themes or format of a workshop, or cannot be accommodated in a plenary session.

Special sessions are open to all who have registered for the Colloquium, but you have to sign up for them. Spaces may be limited. The dates for each special session will be announced before the end of July.

Sign up for special sessions commences with the sign up for meetings and workshops on 18 August 2014.

1. Cochrane Strategy to 2020: Delivering our targets in 2014

Session one will focus on the targets related to goals one and two of the strategy, i.e. Producing evidence and Making our evidence accessible. We will additionally cover the CRG element of the structure and function review target in this session.

Session two will focus on the targets related to goals three and four of the strategy, i.e. Advocating for evidence and Building an effective and sustainable organisation.


After 21 years Cochrane is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading organisations in the health sector, with a reputation for producing high-quality, credible information to inform health decision-making. In our Strategy to 2020 we set out our strategic plan, which defines the organisation’s direction for the next six years and provides the framework for strategic decision-making.

The Strategy to 2020 is based around achieving four key goals:


To produce high-quality, relevant, up-to-date systematic reviews and other synthesized research evidence to inform health decision-making.


To make Cochrane evidence accessible and useful to everybody, everywhere in the world.


To make Cochrane the ‘home of evidence’ to inform health decision-making, build greater recognition of our work, and become the leading advocate for evidence-informed health care.


To be a diverse, inclusive and transparent international organisation that effectively harnesses the enthusiasm and skills of our contributors, is guided by our principles, governed accountably, managed efficiently and makes optimal use of its resources.

These goals are structured as three interlocking areas of equal focus and priority (Goals 1-3), underpinned by a fourth foundational area (Goal 4) designed to strengthen the organisation and support our mission. Each goal is supported by a series of overarching objectives, and annual targets, which are designed to enable Cochrane as a whole to work effectively, efficiently and coherently towards meeting its mission.


You are invited to the Strategy to 2020 special session to find out more about how the targets for 2014 are being delivered across the organisation.

Type of session 

This session will be split into two parts: information-sharing and discussion; and will  be held as two 90-minute sessions held on consecutive days (Part 1 and Part 2, with the split by targets rather than ‘session type’).

Target audience

Primarily existing Cochrane contributors (Cochrane group staff and members of Cochrane Review production teams). 

The sessions will also be of interest to external stakeholders, including representatives from funders and partners.

The sessions are appropriate for any level of knowledge.

Date: 25th september 2014, Thursday ( part 1) & 26th septmenber 2014, Friday(part 2)

Time:11.00 to 12.30 hrs

Number of participants

50 to 60 (maximum 100)


Members of the Cochrane Central Executive Team

Organized by:

The Cochrane Central Executive Team

Contact person

Chris Champion ǀ Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer| cchampion@cochrane.org 

2. Maximizing the impact and reach of Cochrane Evidence: effective use of dissemination and communication resources and techniques 


Background: To ensure that Cochrane Evidence has the strongest opportunity to make an impact - and that this impact in turn can be used to support Cochrane groups in their advocacy efforts and efforts to secure funding – requires a comprehensive strategy and workflow. Several of Cochrane's Strategy to 2020 targets work towards creating a corresponding framework that will provide authors, groups and other contributors with tools and concepts necessary to integrate dissemination planning, knowledge translation, media work and impact assessment into the Review process. 

This proposal brings together ongoing work on three target areas of the Strategy to 2020 

  • 2.2 Build a dissemination checklist into the editorial process of Cochrane Reviews;
  • 3.3 Establish an advocacy agenda to develop Cochrane’s position as a ‘thought leader’ in the health sector; and
  • 3.4 Capture and communicate Cochrane’s impact on policy and practice), and provides an opportunity to engage the larger Cochrane community in the practical work of implementing strategic goals that will be of benefit to the larger organization.

Objectives: We will demonstrate why it is important to think about how Cochrane Evidence will be communicated to others early on in the review process; how identifying target audience(s) can improve a review’s focus and relevance; and why and how knowledge translation and media communications are valuable in raising awareness and encouraging people to access and use evidence. Furthermore, we will illustrate the importance of capturing and demonstrating impact for funders, research assessment and others.

Methods: We will:

  • introduce a dissemination checklist, designed as a planning tool for authors and Review Groups;
  • discuss methods to identify key audiences (topical, geographical, and other);
  • discuss when and how to coordinate efforts with the Central Executive (translations, media, internal communications);
  • introduce the impact database and discuss workflows and tools for capturing impact and retrieving impact data;
  • use data from past media and social media work to help demonstrate how these channels can be used effectively - for example, both traditional media and social media can be used to raise awareness, influence important messaging, improve access to and use of Cochrane Reviews, and engage directly and effectively with current and potential audiences.

Throughout, we will engage the audience to ask questions, discuss practical application, and share examples of best practice already in place.

Attending this session will provide a comprehensive understanding of how integrating dissemination planning into the Cochrane Review preparation process will support effective communication of the finished Review, and demonstrated impact of Cochrane evidence to the audiences who will benefit from it most.

Type of session

Information-sharing session

Target audience

Anyone in Cochrane seeking information on how to disseminate Cochrane content more effectively. Appropriate for any level of knowledge.

Date: 23rd september 2014, Tuesday.

Time:11.00 to 12.30 hrs

Number of participants

25-50 (maximum 100)


Megan Helmers (Wiley) | John Hilton (CEU) | Nancy Owens (CEAD) | Deborah Pentesco-Gilbert (Wiley) | Gavin Stewart (Wiley)

Other contributors: Katie Breeze (CEAD) | Caroline Mavergames (CEAD)

Organized by:

Cochrane Commmunications and External Affairs Department | Wiley

Contact person

Nancy Owens | Communications and External Affairs | nowens@cochrane.org

3. The Embase project: perfect alignment of people, process and technology


Background: A consortium of Metaxis, the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group, and the York Health Economics Consortium responded to a call for proposals to take over management of the ongoing identification of RCT and CCT records from Embase and develop a system for their selection and inclusion in CRSO and CENTRAL.

Objectives: The objectives of this session are to present the results of the project to date and to stimulate meaningful discussion around themes such access to wider participation to Cochrane, the role of technology in enabling wider participation and ensuring quality and accuracy in one of Cochrane’s most important products.

Forrmat: This session will start with a series of short presentations by the project team focussing on the three main aspects of the project:

  1. The development and validation of the search strategy. This involved various textual analyses each of which generated candidate terms tested against a large gold standard data set.
  2. The development of a screening tool and its associated management tool for keeping track of screener activity in real time.
  3. The use of crowdsourcing in the screening of search results with a focus on crowd recruitment, guidance, performance and motivations.
  4. The session will then move on to a live screening challenge, before opening the floor to discussion.

Thousands of records have now been screened by the ‘crowd’. This provides a unique and useful data set, both quantitate and qualitative, against which performance can be measured, lessons learned and future directions considered.

Type of session

Discussion-based session

Target audience

People interested in the work of the project and its progress to date;  and people interested in the potential of wider participation in evidence synthesis through distributed human intelligence tasking (such as crowd sourcing). CochraneTech, TSCs, Consumers, Training.

Date: 26th september 2014, Friday.

Time:11.00 to 12.30 hrs

Number of participants

30 (maximum)


Anna Noel-Storr | Gordon Dooley | Julie Glanville | Ruth Foxlee

Organized by:

The EMBASE Project team (Metaxis, the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group, and the York Health Economics Consortium)

Contact person

Anna Noel-Storr | Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group | anna.noel-storr@rdm.ox.ac.uk

4. Setting research agendas: balancing public health and patient level priorities


Background: There is an increased drive by decision-makers and funders to see patient and consumer involvement in research. Coupled with this is an increased demand from patient and consumer groups themselves for making research more relevant to their experiences and values. Taking into account these factors, there is an urgent need to adapt existing priority setting methods and build consensus on frameworks to balance public health and patient level priority needs. 

It has been proposed that involving patients in setting research priorities will make the research more relevant and applicable to health systems and better equipped for translation into health service delivery with positive health outcomes. However, it may be challenging to balance patient needs, values, and experiences for research priorities with distinctly different public health issues like deliverability, resource implications, equity, and potential effects on disease burden. The special session will explore the issues around balancing patient and public health needs when setting research priorities, particularly strategies or forums to enhance this balance. 

Methods: The special session will bring together researchers and decision-makers interested and involved in these issues, to present the perspectives of high, middle and low-income countries on frameworks to balance priorities for research. We have involved individuals from Australia, the UK, Italy, India, Canada and Nepal.

The session will start with short presentations from panellists. Presentations will highlight: general issues, opportunities and challenges, and frameworks for balancing public health and patient level priorities in setting research agendas. These will be complemented by examples from previous research priorities, such as the experiences on conflicting and similar research priorities set by patients by James Lind Alliance and national research priorities set by Council of Health Research For Development (COHRED) in collaboration with different low- and middle-income countries e.g. Brazil. This will be followed by a facilitated discussion. For example, we will explore the role of policy-makers, who are accountable to both patients and public health needs.  Policy-makers are uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between public health and patient level research priorities, as they have similar levels of understanding to patients and consumers in terms of technical knowledge, but greater access to researchers, public health experts, and population level information. We will also discuss the applicability of these frameworks in low- and middle-income countries and strategies to address health system issues arising in these settings.  

Type of session

Discussion-based and information sharing

Target audience

Although the session is open to anyone interested in priority setting, we will approach groups and individuals representing the diverse perspectives on this topic to encourage them to more strongly engage in this discussion.  We intend to come out with a consensus document based on the discussions in the special session.  We will also encourage active twitter discussion during the session with the session hash tag #CAPSMG along with the colloquium twitter hashtag #CochraneHYD.

Date: 25th september 2014, Thursday.

Time:11.00 to 12.30 hrs

Number of participants

10 to 60 (maximum)


Rebecca Armstrong | Soumyadeep Bhaumik | Roberto D’Amico |Mona Nasser |Kevin Pottie |Sangeeta Rana

Organized on behalf of:

Cochrane Agenda and Priority Setting Methods Group (CAPSMG)

Contact person

Soumyadeep Bhaumik| CAPSMG | drsoumyadeepbhaumik@gmail.com

5. Wikipedia and why it matters when it comes to knowledge translation


Wikipedia logoWikipedia in January of 2014 was referred to as “the single leading source of medical information for patients and healthcare professionals” by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. It is used by 50% to 70% of physicians in clinical practice and has also been reported as the single most used resource by medical students.

 Wikipedia is a multilingual, online, open source encyclopedia which anyone can edit, at least certain parts of it and initially. It is available in 286 languages and is made up of more than 30 million articles which cover medicine along with nearly everything else. 

In 2013, a special session at the Quebec Colloquium discussed the syngergies, opportunites and challenges offerred by a potential partnership between Cochrane and Wikipedia; a partnership with the potential of getting the highest-quality healthcare evidence into the most-used healthcare resource in the world.

In 2014, Cochrane and Wikipedia announced a partnership to improve the evidence base of Wikipedia articles on healthcare topics. In support of this partnership, Cochrane appointed Sydney Poore as the first Wikipedian in Residence, and sponsored 100 free subscriptions to The Cochrane Library for use by Wikipedia healthcare editors.

Objectives: This special session follows on from Quebec and we will update participants on the progress of the partnership and future directions. We will also discuss how much medical content there is, how much this content is read, and who edits Wikipedia. 

Most importantly we will explain why you should get involved and how you could contribute.  We also hope to discuss some ideas about what Cochrane can learn from the Wikipedian community, as a virtually-functioning collaborative group of people from around the world.

This special session is a series of events planned for the 22nd Cochrane Colloquium at Hyderabad aimed at consolidating and facilitating the Wikipedia-Cochrane Partnership. Other events scheduled include pre-colloquium Wikipedia & Cochrane Symposium two workshops, and a Wikipedia editing booth – more details on dates and locations of the workshops and editing booth to follow soon! 

Type of session

Information sharing and discussion-based

Target audience

People with a beginner's level of Wikipedia knowledge; however, those with an intermediate and advanced understanding will also learn (and contribute) a great deal.

People who want to know more about the progress and future direction of the Wikipedia and Cochrane partnership, and how they can get involved. 

Date: 24th september 2014, wednesday.

Time:11.00 to 12.30 hrs

Number of participants

50 - 60 (maximum 100)


James Heilman | Sydney Poore | Manu Mathew | Jake Orlowitz |Nancy Owens

Organized by:

The Wikipedia & Cochrane Partnership Initiative

Contact person

James Heilman | Wikipedian | jmh649@gmail.com