The inefficiency of isolation: Why evidence providers and evidence synthesisers can break out of their silos

This session is linked to Plenary 2: BREAKING DOWN THE SILOS: Digital and trustworthy evidence ecosystem


  1. To increase participants’ understanding of how changes to the way primary research is designed and shared can make synthesis more efficient. 
  2. To highlight work under way to improve the links between evidence producers and evidence synthesisers. 
  3. To increase participants’ understanding of how new approaches to evidence synthesis are contributing to evidence ecosystems. 
  4. To give participants the opportunity to discuss challenges in the path from evidence production to synthesis with an expert international panel and their peers.

This session will highlight the challenges of improving the quality and availability of primary research evidence, how links between primary research and evidence synthesis can be improved, and examples of new systems for evidence synthesis. It will also allow an opportunity for discussion and debate about how substantive progress can be made.

The four talks will be:

  1. The problems of poor and siloed primary research - a funder’s view (Matt Westmore). 
  2. New ways to access primary research data (Ida Sim). 
  3. Data journeys from studies to accelerated evidence synthesis (Anna Noel-Storr).
  4. Connecting primary research and synthesis in education - experiences of operating in a linked system (Jonathan Sharples) 

The facilitated discussion will give participants the opportunity to pose questions to the panel, as well as allow further discussion on wider challenges and practical ways forward. Both the talks and the discussion will consider the applicability of the current ecosystem model to non-health challenges. Participants need no prior knowledge of the topic area to benefit from attending.


Target audience: 

those interested in improving the relevance & utility of primary research and evidence synthesis to decision makers; improving the interactions between the primary research community & those who synthesise primary research

Type of session: 

The session will comprise four, 15-minute talks followed by a facilitated 30-minute panel discussion with the speakers.

Other contributors:

Treweek S1
1 University of Aberdeen, UK


Thursday 14 September 2017 - 11:00 to 12:30