IECS-Argentine Cochrane Center
Cochrane collaboration is a non profit organization aimed at doing , keeping and promoting systematic reviews and meta-analysis of medical literature for health care decision making. It was founded in UK in 1992 to be rapidly accepted all over the world. The Iberoamerican Cochrane Network (ICN) is made up of collaboration centers (affiliated centers) organized according to geographical location . Each center actively promotes network activities in a specific regional area.
The Argentine Cochrane Center was founded in 2000 and the IECS was appointed collaborating center in Argentina. Since then, the Argentine Cochrane Center-IECS has been a coordinating center of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Network that, in addition to developing activities of interest for the Cochrane Collaboration, gathers other provincial centers for such activities.
What does the Argentine Cochrane Center-IECS do?
Its main objective is to guarantee that health care and clinical decision making is made according to the best scientific evidence available. It does systematic reviews and mata-analysis of medical literature. It carries out methodological research on systematic reviews and topics related to evidence-based medicine. It supports projects and different lines of investigation by IECS as well as doing research that international organisms , governments, health care systems and scientific societies ask. When doing so, it promotes research that is relevant for the region. The IECS developed a software called EROS (Early Review Organizing Software) that facilitates the first stages of a systematic review thanks to a fast, efficient and independent selection and quality assessment of studies.
The coordinating center tasks are:
– To provide encouragement, support and methodological assessment to people wanting to participate in the activities of the Cochrane Collaboration in its reference area.
– To actively promote Cochrane Collaboration through conferences, talks, newsletters, articles, etc.
– To take on specific responsibilities at regional level or to benefit the ICN when convenient and necessary.
– To develop and implement strategies to identify clinical trials in the area of reference
– To organize seminars and specific training activities about methodology of systematic reviews
– To promote research and revision projects related to systematic reviews
– To develop networking and strategic alliances with different public organisms and private institutions
– To prepare, adapt and /or translate Cochrane material and develop general strategies to promote it
– To get funds for the development of Cochrane Collaboration and to sponsor the annual attendance to the Colloquium Cochrane of at least one ICN representative
– To provide information about Cochrane Collaboration in its area of reference: to keep a telephone line, fax and email of contact during all working hours , to keep a web page, to count on marketing strategies and tools to spread its importance, to have a database with contacts and members of the region, etc.
The Argentine Cochrane Center-IECS believes that there is a community of interests between the Cochrane Collaboration and scientific societies since both aim to promote correct decision-making. It is of utmost importance then to strengthen institutional bonds of such societies in order to be able to:
- Set up joint marketing strategies to spread relevant local research
- Identify and classify clinical trials of other kind of evidence carried out in Argentina, related to the area of knowledge of each society
- Do systematic reviews of relevance in the research area of each society