Volunteer with us!

We have an exciting new volunteer task AVAILABLE NOW but for a limited time only. To find out more keep reading!

In the summer of 2014 the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group, based at Oxford University, began on a new programme of work looking at modifiable risk factors - interventions that might help delay or even prevent the onset of dementia. The modifiable risk factors we are looking at are: physical activity, vitamins and minerals, diet and cognition-based interventions.

For each review we do, we will try to find all the randomised trials that have been done in each of these areas. This is where we need your help! 

We make the searches highly sensitive in an effort to find all the relevant trials. The problem with doing this is that we also capture a lot of irrelevant material. 

We have found that volunteers are brilliant at screening search results, even those who come to the task with very little, if any, experience of performing this task.

If you think you might like to help us in this task, then you can dive straight in. All you have to do is select one of the topics areas below (you don't need to have any knowledge of the topic area, just choose one that appeals to you or choose one randomly):

Physical activity: http://mrf.metaxis.com/PHY

Vitamins and minerals: http://mrf.metaxis.com/VIT

Dietary interventions: http://mrf.metaxis.com/DIET

Cognition-based interventions: http://mrf.metaxis.com/COG

Here are some further details, 

phrased in the form of questions and answers which you might find helpful:

What do I get out of this?

If you are interested in dementia and the research being done to try to prevent or stall it, then you may find the task itself quite interesting. It should also feel good to know that you will be contributing to gold standard level evidence synthesis being undertaken by the Cochrane Collaboration and Oxford University for which we are extremely grateful. If you screen 500 or more citations you will be named in the acknowledgements of the reviews themselves and you will receive a certificate of participation from the Cochrane Dementia and Cognitive Improvement Group. 

How much time would I have to volunteer?

As much or as little as you like or can. The task will begin in January 2015 (it has begun!). If you sign up to take part, you can log in and do some every day for hours, or you can log in once, have a quick go and never do anymore. It's completely flexible and designed to fit around you, not the other way round.

What exactly is the task?

Screening citations. A citation is a brief summary (a paragraph usually but sometimes just a title) describing a paper or journal article. What you will see is a title and a paragraph, usually, and some buttons. The buttons are your decision buttons. For each citation you have to select one option from a choice of three. Here is an example: What decision would you make on this one? Yes, RCT/CCT is correct

Will I be trained?

Everyone who signs up has to do 20 practice records. You can re-do these records as often as you like and you don't have to get them all right - hardly anyone does - before progressing to the 'live' task. There is also a handy 'quick ref' table available under the Quick Reference tab on the site. This table goes through the kinds of records which you should classify as RCT/CCT and the kinds of records you should classify as Rejects.

What if I make mistakes?

Everyone will make some mistakes I expect. We have designed a robust algorithm which means that no single records just gets screened by one person. All records will get at least two independent screens, and in most cases three.

I'm interested. What do I do next?

That's fantastic. So why not have a go? Simply choose one of the links below and get started!

Physical activity: http://mrf.metaxis.com/PHY

Vitamins and minerals: http://mrf.metaxis.com/VIT

Dietary interventions: http://mrf.metaxis.com/DIET

Cognition-based interventions: http://mrf.metaxis.com/COG

If you have any further questions or queries, please don't hesitate to contact me,

Anna: anna.noel-storr@rdm.ox.ac.uk