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NIPH is seeking contributors for collaborating on a Live map of COVID-19 evidence

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The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is seeking agencies and other contributors interested in collaborating on a Live map of COVID-19 evidence. The map can reduce the time and costs needed to produce rapid systematic reviews.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is seeking agencies and other contributors interested in collaborating on a Live map of COVID-19 evidence. The map can reduce the time and costs needed to produce rapid systematic reviews.


All contributors can make an important contribution to creating a critical global public good. Organizational partners can obtain structured data from the map to help answer their own prioritized policy questions.

Background

We have built a systematic and living map of evidence on COVID-19 that provides a foundation for swift evidence identification. Our aim is that people can use the map as a basis for study identification to make rapid systematic reviews in response to prioritized questions.

The map provides an overview of scientific studies on COVID-19 that have been manually categorized and parsed into more specific subgroups. Studies can be quickly accessed according to topic and population. As a result, the map also identifies research gaps, which can inform further research efforts. In a next step, the map will display quality assessments of included studies.

 The main target groups and expected users of the map are:

  • Those who make rapid systematic reviews.
  • Those who make guidelines.
  • Policy makers.
  • Researchers on COVID-19.

The main map, specific topic maps and a detailed protocol are publicly available 

Worldwide, various lists of COVID-19 publications are already available. Most of them have divided publications into broad themes.  We have developed a more detailed categorization system and this initiative could result in the most complete map worldwide.

Why this call

We are issuing this call because rapid progress towards these goals is urgently needed and we need collaborations to fulfill the potential of the map. Further, we aim to collaborate globally to avoid duplication of work.

This partnership can be mutually beneficial for organizational partners as it provides a pathway to lower the cost of evidence synthesis as well as increased impact through faster outputs. One of the most time-consuming tasks when preparing a systematic review, is the identification of relevant research papers. The living evidence map of COVID-19 research studies is a powerful tool that can simplify and speed up this process. Organizations that collaborate with us on the map, can request for exports of references from specific categories in the map. Without delay, we will provide lists of references, within selected categories, following the "RIS" standard which enables to exchange data with citation programs like Mendeley, Endnote, Reference Manager, and others.  This bibliometric data can then be used as the starting point for own rapid systematic reviews.

Individual contributors will have the opportunity to develop or improve their skills in categorizing and appraising evidence through training, a coding manual and weekly follow-up meetings with members of the core map team.

We are looking for collaborators who want to engage in the categorization of COVID-19 references or in the quality assessment of prioritized studies. To collaborate efficiently, we expect that contributors commit to a minimum of one person-day/week for a duration of at least 6 weeks. Contributors need to be able to understand and process different research topics and study designs. If desired, we can select particular topics so that contributors can work with the topic they know best.

We commit to clearly acknowledging all contributors and to publish the logoes of all collaborators on the map website.

Project Timeline

The project started March 2020 and will conclude at the end of the pandemic, including time for evaluation of the pandemic.

Expressions of interest

 If you are interested, please contact us at Covid-19.evidencemap@fhi.no and provide the following information:

  • The role you are interested in (screening references, critical appraisal).
  • How many person days/ week you could participate; and
  • Experience of the contributor(s).

Deadline

We urge interested partners to contact us as soon as possible, but we accept expressions on an ongoing basis.