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Cochrane announces the Cochrane-REWARD prize for reducing waste in research


Nominations for the 2017 Cochrane-REWARD prize are now open. Two prizes will be awarded to local or pilot initiatives with the greatest potential to reduce waste in research if scaled up globally.

The 2009 Lancet paper on adding value and reducing waste in research documented that much research is wasted because its outcomes cannot be used [1]. Research waste occurs during five stages of research production: question selection, study design, research conduct, publication, and reporting [2, 3]. There is a loss of around 50% at each of design, publication, and reporting, which implies a total waste of at least 85%. This translates into an estimated global loss of around $170 billion per year. Much research waste appears to be avoidable or remediable, but there is little recognition of the need to develop and implement these remedies.

The annual Cochrane-REWARD prize will highlight underused remedies and the need to invest in research to identify problems and find solutions. Nominated initiatives must address at least one of the five stages of research; have pilot data showing that they can lower waste; have the potential to be scaled up globally; and be able to estimate their potential impact on research waste.

Cochrane is now calling for nominations for the 2017 prize. Find more information on the prize and how to submit a nomination at Cochrane.



[1] Chalmers I, Glasziou P. Avoidable waste in the production and reporting of research evidence. Lancet. 2009 Jul 4;374(9683):86-9.
[2] Macleod MR, Michie S, Roberts I, et al. Biomedical research: increasing value, reducing waste. Lancet. 2014 Jan 11;383(9912):101-4.
[3] Glasziou P, Altman DG, Bossuyt P, et al. Reducing waste from incomplete or unusable reports of biomedical research. Lancet. 2014 Jan 18;383(9913):267-76.

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