Want to work on a Cochrane Review you have a passion for? What happens if you don’t know of any appropriate co-authors? Like many before her, Rawabi Aljadani faced this problem and has turned to social media to find a match. Below she tells us more about creating a Cochrane Review team with the help of social media.
A systematic review connects the dots and brings the understanding of different variables in an easy-to-digest format. Creating a systematic review that may assist decision makers in the healthcare field is a meaningful goal and is worth the effort it requires to see it through. Having a team that shares your same vision and determination to make the Cochrane Review happen is important to its success but finding that team may not be easy.
Your Cochrane Review team doesn’t need to sit in the same room, nor even in the same continent. A virtual team that works through social media and electronic communication can connect no matter the distance. Co-authors, statistician, and a consultant with experience on the review topic can work together to produce a Cochrane Review, one that may change practice and have an impact on care. Working with a virtual group can be challenging at times; there are language barriers and different time zones to navigate. The plus side is that you will be able to improve your teamwork, critical appraisal, and problem solving skills…and have a Cochrane Review as your finished product.
But how do you find a virtual team that shares your passion and drive? I have a few suggestions:
- Post on Facebook; on your own page but also in relevant group pages.
- Use Twitter to get the word out. Use hashtags that will connect you with people who are also interested in your topic. Make sure your tweet or at least your profile has your contact information.
- Email your colleagues and contacts and ask them to share with their contacts.
- Use relevant Listservs to post messages and let people know.
- Contact the Cochrane Review Group your idea would fall under. They may have someone they can connect with and they often have their own mailing lists and social media accounts they can help you advertise in.
- Blog about it! If you don’t have a blog, ask to guest blog on relevant sites.
Since I posted my own review idea on Twitter and Facebook a number of people have contacted me. People from different countries and with different educational backgrounds, who all share the same passion and want to be a part of this team. Connecting with people who share my excitement for creating a Cochrane Review really motivates me to keep going and to do my best. I’ve successfully used social media to get ‘matched up’ with co-authors…now if there are any statisticians that want to work with a passionate team, please email me!
From my social media posts I’ve gotten many encouraging messages and have connected with others who have been struggling to create a perfect Cochrane Review team but hadn’t thought to post on social media. I encourage everyone looking to create a Cochrane Review team to look outside of their own contacts, consider other possibilities, and never keep their vision limited to a certain place. After all your perfect teammate may only be one social media post away!
Pharmacist at NGHA-Jeddah
[Amanda Langdon via Lynne Fox]