The Centre for Public Health houses two key pieces of infrastructure for methodology research relevant to the evaluation of health and social care: the editorial base for the Cochrane Methodology Review Group and the Northern Ireland Methodology Hub, both of which are led by Professor Mike Clarke. The Cochrane Methodology Review Group is responsible for all Cochrane Methodology Reviews, which are a special type of Cochrane Review which assess the evidence on the methods for randomised trials, systematic reviews and other studies of health and social care. These include the second and third largest Cochrane reviews in terms of included studies: “Methods to increase response to postal and electronic questionnaires” (515 studies) and “Full publication of results initially presented in abstracts (425 studies). The Group’s output achieved an indicative impact factor of 15.000 for 2019, which is about double that for Cochrane Reviews as a whole and ranks it as the second-highest of any of the more than 50 Cochrane Review Groups.
The Northern Ireland Methodology Hub works with others across the island of Ireland, the UK and internationally on the Studies Within A Trial (SWAT) and Studies Within A Review (SWAR) initiatives, which it established. These have led to a Repository of SWAT and SWAR outlines on the QUB website and approximately 150 of these outlines are now freely available, making it a unique resource for information on methodology research that is embedded in trials and other prospective studies, and systematic reviews.
Professor Clarke is also the Research Director for Evidence Aid, a UK registered charity seeking to improve access to reliable and robust evidence by those working in the humanitarian and disaster sectors. Evidence Aid prepares summaries of relevant systematic reviews and, in 2020, turned its focus onto the overwhelming volume of research that might be relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. By November 2020, it has produced more than 400 short, targeted summaries covering over 500 relevant systematic reviews. These are available free at www.EvidenceAid.org and have been accessed by more than 350,000 people in the nine months since the first ones were launched in March 2020.
Core Academic Staff
Prof Mike Clarke
Postdoctoral Research Fellows