Cochrane Kidney and Transplant (CKT) develop and maintain a database known as the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant Specialised Register.
It is a database of randomised controlled trials in kidney disease that reflects the scope of our Group. It has been developed primarily to support authors writing systematic reviews, though it is also a unique and comprehensive resource for the nephrology community, providing support for the development of quality evidence-based practice and research by renal physicians, nurses, researchers, policy makers, other health-related professionals, and consumers.
The database is study-based i.e. all reports or publications of a study (or trial) are linked together under a unique Study name (example of a study record in the database). It is a relational database containing review information and bibliographic and study details, where the STUDY is the unit of data. The decision to develop a study-based database was based on the following assumptions that:
- the identification of duplicate publications is vital to producing an accurate systematic review. If multiple reports of a single trial are included as individual trials i.e. the trial participants are counted multiple times, then the effect of a particular intervention may be over or under estimated, leading to wrong conclusions of its efficacy. Unless all reports or publications from a study were linked, the possibility exists of including data from the same trial more than once in a systematic review;
- a study-based register would be able to reduce the workload of authors in the screening process
The database is currently maintained in MeerKat, study-based software based on MS-Access. The database
- contains bibliographic and study details and review information where the study is the unit of data
- links multiple reports to a single study
- links studies to reviews
- tracks the progress of reviews by linking studies sent to and used by authors
The database is populated from a variety of sources:
- Monthly searches of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)
- Weekly searches of MEDLINE OVID SP
- Handsearching of kidney-related journals and the proceedings of major kidney conferences
- Searching of the current year of EMBASE OVID SP
- Weekly current awareness alerts for selected kidney and transplant journals
- Searches of the International Clinical Trials Register (ICTRP) Search Portal and ClinicalTrials.gov for ongoing studies
All reports are screened for relevance in terms the scope of Cochrane Kidney and Transplant & study design (i.e randomized controlled trial (RCT) or quasi randomisded controlled (CCT) trial. The full-text of all potential reports is obtained.
Each report is checked against MeerKat to see if the report is part of a study that already exists. if so, the report is added to that study in MeerKat.
If the report is a new study, a new study is created and the reference added to that study. Individual reports can be linked to more than 1 study.
Studies and reports are coded with interventions, health care conditions and a review number (i.e. a review that is registered or published with CKT) to which the study may be relevant. A potential review title may also be added. Study registration IDs (e.g. NCT001123456) are also obtained and added where available.