In welcoming you to this New Year and a new volume for the Journal of Evidence Based Medicine, we are delighted to announce two major developments for the Journal and for evidence based health care more generally. Firstly, on January 24 2011, the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation (WHO) approved the application from The Cochrane Collaboration to become a Non-Governmental Organisation in Official Relations with the WHO. This recognises the importance of the Collaboration and of systematic reviews, in providing evidence to inform decisions in health care, including those that have to be made to cope with the aftermath of natural disasters. It allows the Collaboration to participate in the World Health Assembly and to have input to WHO resolutions. Our second piece of good news is more local. Following a formal submission to the US National Library of Medicine in 2010, it has been agreed that the Journal of Evidence Based Medicine will be indexed in MEDLINE from this year. This is testament to the high quality of the articles sent to us during the years since the Journal was established in 2008, and to the importance of this material for the wider health and healthcare community.

We look forward to the first records for the Journal appearing in MEDLINE shortly and are pleased to present you with a collection of articles in this issue that are likely to prove influential in the future. Among these is an update of an article that she wrote for the Chinese Journal of Evidence Based Medicine five years ago (1) in which Claire Allen from The Cochrane Collaboration Secretariat has teamed up with her colleague Kiley Richmond to describe global activity within the Collaboration. In 2006, the Collaboration had 15,000 active participants in 97 countries. By 2010, this had grown to 28,000 people in 112 countries. More than 21,000 of these people are involved as authors of Cochrane reviews, driving the number of full reviews produced since the Collaboration was established 17 years ago through 4500. The international perspective is also present in a report comparing policies and regulations of healthcare risk management agencies and non-governmental organizations in Australia, Canada, Taiwan district, UK and USA. Bin Ma and colleagues from Lanzhou University in China tackle the global problem of tuberculosis drug resistance with a review and meta-analysis of research into a diagnostic test to detect resistance to rifampicin. In another article, you will find a study of more than 20,000 users of intrauterine devices in 236 towns in Jiangsu, Shanghai, Guangdong, Anhui, Sichuan, and Chongqing provinces in China, examining the association between regional economic levels and adverse effects.

We hope that you will enjoy and appreciate these and the other articles in this issue of the Journal, and those still to come, through 2011.

  • 1
    Allen C, Clarke M. International activity in Cochrane Review Groups with particular reference to China. Chinese Journal of Evidence-based Medicine 2006; 6(8): 541545.