It is increasingly recognised that health care decisions should be based on a synthesis of the global body of evidence rather than relying on the convenient selection of one or more discrete studies. Evidence syntheses, also often called systematic reviews, are a way of compiling information from multiple studies that have looked at the same topic and come to an overall understanding of the results.
Open Science is ‘the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society’. As well as making the outputs of research accessible to all stakeholders (i.e. researchers, policymakers, practitioners and members of the public), Open Science is also about extending the principles of openness to the whole research cycle, i.e. sharing and collaborating as early as possible with all stakeholders to achieve a systemic change to the way science and research is done. Ensuring that evidence syntheses are open across all aspects is crucial in order to achieve the greatest possible impact for patients and end users.
This half-day workshop brought together international experts in evidence synthesis, transparency and open science to explore the concept of openness in evidence synthesis, why it’s important and how it can be achieved, as well as considering challenges and opportunities for future research and collaborations.
Dr. Neal Haddaway
Neal Haddaway is a Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute in Sweden and a Humboldt Research Fellow at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin, Germany. Neal researches evidence synthesis methodology and conducts systematic reviews and maps in the field of climate science, sustainability, environmental management and international development. His main research interests focus on improving the transparency, efficiency and reliability of evidence synthesis as a methodology, and supporting evidence synthesis in resource constrained contexts. He is also the co-founder of the Evidence Synthesis Hackathon (www.eshackathon.org), and has a keen interest in the use of Evidence Synthesis Technology to support rigorous computer-assisted systematic reviews and maps. Neal is the co-leader of the Open Synthesis Working Group; an international, cross-disciplinary group of experts interested in applying Open Science principles to evidence synthesis.
Dr. Elaine Toomey
Dr Elaine Toomey is Associate Director of Cochrane Ireland within Evidence Synthesis Ireland based in the National University of Ireland Galway. Her research primarily focuses on methods used in the development, evaluation and implementation of health behaviour change interventions, particularly in relation to the treatment and prevention of chronic disease. She has specific expertise in implementation science, evidence synthesis, process evaluation and exploring the fidelity and adaptation of behaviour change interventions.
Elaine is a member of the Health Research Board (HRB) Open Research National Steering Committee, Co-Chair of the European Health Psychology Society Open Science Special Interest Group and a Catalyst for the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS). In 2016 Elaine was awarded a Leamer-Rosenthal Prize for Open Social Science for Emerging Researchers from the University of California Berkeley for her work in fidelity and transparency of behaviour change interventions, and has been shortlisted for a European Young Researcher Award 2020.
Dr David Moher
Dr David Moher is a senior scientist, clinical epidemiology program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, where he directs the centre for journalology (publication science) (http://www.ohri.ca/journalology/). Dr Moher is also an Associate Professor, School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, where he holds a University Research Chair. Dr Moher holds an MSc in epidemiology and PhD in clinical epidemiology and biostatistics.
Dr Moher has been involved in developing the science of how to optimally conduct and report systematic reviews for most of his professional career. Another part of his research has focused on how best to develop reporting guidelines. He spearheaded the development of the CONSORT statement and the PRISMA statement. He has been actively involved in the development of many other reporting guidelines and is part of the EQUATOR Network.
Dr Moher leads an active program investigating predatory journals and publishers. More recently Dr. Moher led a program to develop core competencies for scientific journal editors. He is actively developing a program to investigate alternatives to current incentives and rewards in academic medicine. Dr Moher has been recognized several times as a Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher (Web of Science).
Emma Thompson is the Advocacy and Partnership Officer within the Cochrane Executive Team where she coordinates Cochrane’s advocacy activities and supports the work of organizational strategic partnerships.
Recently, she has developed and started work on a series of advocacy priorities for Cochrane – which includes campaigning for research integrity and for high-quality evidence synthesis in health decision-making. She began her career as a science journalist, before moving into communications and advocacy roles for non-profits focused on health and environmental issues at the EU level.