Cochrane Crowd, Cochrane’s new citizen science platform, is a global community of volunteers who are helping to classify the research needed to support informed decision-making about healthcare. The job of the Cochrane Crowd community is to review descriptions of research studies to identify and classify randomized controlled trials (RCTs), a type of study that is considered the gold standard for clinical trials. Reports of RCTs are then fed into Cochrane’s Central Register of Controlled Trials, helping Cochrane authors and other systematic reviewers around the world quickly find the evidence they need to determine whether a treatment works, or whether a diagnostic test is accurate.
Anyone can join Cochrane Crowd and no previous experience is necessary. Members find the experience helps build skills in evidence assessment, and by focusing their effort to a health topic of interest they can keep abreast of the latest research. Brief (and fun!) online training is provided, and any contribution is welcome, whether it be five minutes here and there or more focussed periods of time.
What tasks are available?
Cochrane Crowd offers a range of ‘micro’ tasks, aimed at identifying and describing the evidence.
- The Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) identification task is the initial micro-task available for new users.
- The Diagnostic Test Accuracy (DTA) identification task is available to all users who have completed 200 RCT identification tasks.
- A suite of Patient, Population or Problem (P), Intervention (I), Comparison (C) and Outcome (O) tasks is currently being trialled. Users are asked to describe the evidence using the PICO model. This model is widely used and taught in evidence-based health care as a strategy for formulating questions and search strategies and for characterizing clinical studies or meta-analyses.
But how does it work?
Cochrane Crowd works together with the Evidence Pipeline to identify and describe health evidence. All existing study and review data in Cochrane's datastores, plus any new study data added to the system, are categorised and enriched by the quick, powerful and accurate combination of people (Cochrane Crowd) working with automated tools (Evidence Pipeline).
Stay tuned for more in-depth information about 'Cochrane Crowd - Under the Hood', including performance evaluation data.
Cochrane crowd in a glimpse
Want to get involved? Head over to Cochrane Crowd to sign up and start screening! And don’t forget to tell your colleagues, friends, and families – the more the merrier!
How you can contribute to health evidence with Cochrane Crowd
Getting the most out of Cochrane Crowd