eISSN: 2450-5722
ISSN: 2450-5927
Journal of Health Inequalities
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vol. 4
Letter to the Editor

Cochrane Poland and Cochrane Collaboration – history, structure, and future

Dawid Storman
Małgorzata M. Bała
1, 2

Systematic Reviews Unit – Polish Cochrane Branch, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
J Health Inequal 2018; 4 (2): 101–102
Online publish date: 2018/12/31
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I would like to inform you about establishing Cochrane Poland – a branch of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen [1]. It is hosted by Systematic Reviews Unit – Polish Cochrane Branch, which was established in August 2015 at the Faculty of Medicine of the Medical College of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow [1, 2]. Please accept this short description of the organisation and its aims.


Cochrane Collaboration (CC) is an independent, non-profit organisation gathering over 40 thousand people (members and supporters) from over 130 countries. The first principle that applies in CC is global collaboration and teamwork to obtain reliable and accessible information, free from commercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Other principles involve good management, minimising bias through a variety of approaches, and keeping up to date [3].


In 1989, Iain Chalmers and his colleagues developed a regularly updated Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials [4]. Three years later the British Cochrane Centre in Oxford was founded, and one year later the Cochrane Collaboration was created. It began as a response to the challenge set by Professor Archibald Leman Cochrane, who pointed out the importance of summarising the knowledge from randomised controlled trials in medicine in a critical way and updating it [5]. Starting with 77 people from nine countries, Cochrane’s team grew to 11,000 members and over 35,000 supporters from all around the world [6, 7].


The logo of CC consists of two C letters, the first one symbolises Cochrane and the second – international collaboration [8]. In the middle of the circle is a forest plot of the meta-analysis that concerned results from a systematic review (SR, from 1989) on the administration of glucocorticoids to pregnant women to prevent complications in children due to preterm delivery [8]. The results from this SR helped in widespread dissemination of this intervention and reduction of the risk of complications in many premature babies [8].


The structure of CC includes various types of units, such as centres and associate centres, Cochrane Review Groups (CRGs), Fields & Networks, and Method Groups, based in 43 countries [9]. CRGs are the main units that deal with the preparation of systematic reviews. CRGs are organised in networks, responsible for efficient and timely production of high-quality systematic reviews. One of them is Cochrane Public...

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