Cochrane Membership Thresholds

1.1 Eligibility

Any individual can sign up to join Cochrane as a supporter or potential member.

When someone achieves Member status they are asked to agree to our terms and conditions of membership, which state that Members should act in accordance with Cochrane’s principles and policies, and that Cochrane reserves the right to withdraw member status should a member contravene this. Members also need to confirm that are not employed by a pharmaceutical or medical device company for conflict of interest reasons.

Groups or institutions will not be eligible for membership at first. In future, we have the option to implement an institutional membership scheme.

1.2 How someone becomes a member

Membership status is achieved by contributing to Cochrane’s work in a sustained and substantive way. There are specific thresholds for contribution below that will set rules for when a supporter transitions to being a member. Once appropriate tasks have been completed an individual is offered membership automatically.

1.3 Thresholds for initial wave of activities included (see section 1.5 below for details on other activities)

TaskNature of taskNo. completedTime frame1Years of membership gained
Micro TaskMicrotasks in crowd platform100012 months1 Year
Authoring tasks, e.g., data extraction, Risk of BiasTask based detailed authoring work512 months1 Year
Translation tasks for author teamsTranslation of studies as part of the review production process512 months1 Year
Translation of Cochrane outputsTranslation of Cochrane’s publications or other materials into other languages512 months1 Year
Publish a protocolAuthor of published protocol1N/A3 Years
Publish a reviewAuthor of published review1N/A5 Years
Publish an updated reviewAuthor of published review update1N/A5 Years
Complete peer review of a manuscriptReviewing (all types, e.g. statistical, consumer, clinical)212 months1 Year

1This is the time frame in which the tasks should be completed.

1.3.1 Role-based membership Individuals holding certain roles in Cochrane will automatically qualify for membership whilst they hold those roles. This includes the following:

  • Board members
  • Council Members
  • Anyone who has a Group staff role, e.g. ME, Co-ed, Centre Director, Field Co-ordinator, Associate Centre Director, Affiliate Director
  • Editors of Cochrane Groups
  • Managers of translation projects
  • Group Executive members
  • Convenors of Methods Groups
  • Central Executive team members
  • Member of Scientific Committee
  • Members of Cochrane Handbook Editorial team
  • Funding Arbiter Panel members

1.4 Length of Membership

  • Membership is time limited.
  • Membership is not cumulative. If publishing a review provides you with 5 years of membership, publishing a subsequent review 2 years later will initiate the start of a new 5-year term, so that in total you receive 7 years (not 10 years) of membership.
  • Membership is divided into three mechanisms:
    1. Rolling annual membership for task based activities;
    2. 3-year or 5-year membership terms for authors of published contributions;
    3. Role-based membership for as long as someone holds certain roles.
  • Rolling annual terms will be granted for activities such as peer review, translations, or crowd-sourced tasks. All activities will be counted and once the threshold has been reached the individual will qualify for membership.
  • If a person’s membership term expires, and they have made no further contribution to Cochrane, their membership will lapse and they will become a supporter again.

1.5 Future activities to be included in the membership thresholds

In the initial implementation of Cochrane membership we have not included all activities undertaken within Cochrane. Some notable examples of activities that are missing are methodology development and knowledge translation work. These, and other contributions not listed above, are critical to Cochrane and will be included within the membership thresholds in due course.

In this first year of the Cochrane membership scheme, we have offered one year of membership to everyone who has been involved in Cochrane, and so we hope that we have captured the broadest range of contributors to our work. 

We are currently working on ways to capture data for these other contribution types which are far more difficult to quantify. We hope that over the coming year we will be able to capture data and start setting thresholds around these areas so that we can incorporate these key areas of activity into our membership thresholds, so that when year two of membership commences we can apply a broader range of thresholds.