Meeting our Mission: A message from Cochrane’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Wilson

5 February, 2019

Below is the introductory paragraph plus one selected paragraph from a message from Cochranes's Executive Director, Mark Wilson, together with comments from me. Full text here:

‘Cochrane exists so that healthcare decisions get better.’ That is the first sentence of our Strategy to 2020. We want individuals around the world to enjoy ‘Better Health’ because high-quality, relevant, accessible Cochrane evidence is changing decision making and improving health outcomes. Every Cochrane collaborator volunteering their time and expertise, every Cochrane Group and Central Executive Team staff member devoting part or all of their working lives, are energised and devoted to this mission: it is the fuel that drives us, the motivation that sustains and binds us together.

'More people around the world also have free access to Cochrane Reviews (including 3.66 billion people who can access the whole Cochrane Library in low- and middle-income countries), and 60% of all Cochrane Reviews in the Library are now available to everyone, everywhere as a result of our Strategy to 2020 Open Access policy (0.6% in 2013). More people and institutions are also buying the Cochrane Library because of its value to them: sales have increased from £6.35 million in 2012 to a record £10.68 million in 2018, with Cochrane’s annual income rising from £3 million to a projected £8.3 million in that time. That means Cochrane can continue to afford the large investments required to achieve Strategy to 2020’s ambitious objectives; whilst at the same time having built up our financial reserves (from £3 million in 2013 to approximately £6.9 million at the end of 2018) to protect us against the uncertainties of the coming years.'

Comments (NPW):

1. Indeed, as shown on the Cochrane website: 'One-click free access is provided by country IP recognition for all the included countries, so no individual login is needed. Users from the eligible countries can simply go to to gain full text access to Cochrane Reviews... To find out if you are eligible to benefit from one-click free access, please visit '

2. Meanwhile, I was interested to learn that MEDLINE (Ovid), EMBASE (Ovid), PubMed and CENTRAL (Web) now have filters to help identify studies relevant to LMIC. This is an innovation that HIFA advocated many years ago.

3. Arguably, now that the Cochrane Library is freely accessible to many LMICs, efforts are needed to raise awareness and understanding of evidence-based medicine, systematic reviews, and Cochrane. As we heard on HIFA a few weeks ago, 'This paper finds that none of 35 doctors in an Ethiopian referral hospital use the Cochrane Library in their clinical practice.'

4. HIFA stands ready to work with Cochrane and others to help raise awareness and understanding. Our Evidence-Informed Policy and Practice working group facilitated a major discussion on systematic reviews and LMICs (sponsored by WHO, TDR and The Lancet), which was presented as a poster:

5. HIFA also worked with the University of Ottawa to assess Mentions of Cochrane on HIFA:

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Access to Health Research

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: