Finding lost trials together using Cochrane Crowd and the Evidence Pipeline


Workshop session 1: Wednesday, 11:00-12:30

Workshop category: 

  • Methods for conducting syntheses (including different evidence, searching and information retrieval, statistics, assessing methodological quality)


Date and Location


Wednesday 13 September 2017 - 11:00 to 12:30


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


Anna Noel-Storr
James Thomas
Steve McDonald


Target audience

Target audience: 

Systematic reviewers and information specialists

Level of difficulty: 

Type of workshop

Type of workshop : 



1. To outline the technical and methodological features of a pipeline that identifies research for systematic reviews – as soon as it is published.
2. For participants to have the opportunity to try some of the technologies described.
3. To promote discussion about the methodological and procedural issues this work raises.

It is currently very time-consuming to find relevant studies for inclusion in systematic reviews. With ever-increasing volumes of research published each year, the problem of the data deluge is increasing. This workshop will open with a short introduction to two of the technologies developed as part of the ‘Transform’ project: i.e. the ‘evidence pipeline’ and ‘Cochrane Crowd’ platforms. Centralised searches will be conducted, and new citations fed into a machine-learning platform. Automatic categorisation will determine the probability that a given citation is a randomised-controlled trial and to which review/review group it is relevant. The Cochrane Crowd will then confirm/disconfirm the machine judgements creating a globally unique register of trials.

After a short introduction to the above technologies and processes, this workshop will facilitate the guided engagement of participants in trialling the online platforms. It will use this experience to kick-start a facilitated discussion regarding the methodological and organisational issues the new technologies raise.