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8 An international network for evidence-based research: introducing the EVBRES initiative
  1. Jong-Wook Ban1,
  2. Karen Robinson2,
  3. Jennifer Yost3,
  4. Caroline Blaine4,
  5. Donna Ciliska5,
  6. Klara Brunnhuber6,
  7. Carsten Juhl7,8,
  8. Robin Christensen9,10,
  9. Hans Lund11
  1. 1Evidence-Based Health Care Programme, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA
  3. 3M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, USA
  4. 4EVBRES, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway
  5. 5School of Nursing, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada
  6. 6Clinical Solutions, Elsevier Ltd., London, UK
  7. 7Institute of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  8. 8Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy, Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Hellerup, Denmark
  9. 9Musculoskeletal Statistics Unit, The Parker Institute and Department of Clinical Research, SDU, Odense, Denmark
  10. 10Department of Rheumatology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
  11. 11Centre for Evidence-Based Practice, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway


Objectives Research on research has shown that many redundant studies would have been avoided if a systematic review has been conducted prior to starting the new study. These apparently wasteful studies limit funding available for truly important and relevant research, diminish the public’s trust in research, and are unethical. Researchers planning a new study should therefore systematically review existing evidence in order to effectively justify the need for the study. Researchers should also interpret the results and evaluate what the new study adds by systemically analysing existing evidence (i.e. putting new research into context). Unfortunately, researchers fail to systematically review the current evidence when planning a new study and interpreting results.

Method The Evidence-Based Research Network (EBR network: was created in 2014 to promote evidence-based research - the use of prior research in a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study so that it answers the questions that matter in a valid, efficient and accessible manner. In April 2018, the Evidence-Based Research Network obtained funding from the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) to create the EVidence-Based RESearch (EVBRES). COST is an organization that provides funding for researchers to create a network (called COST Action) that organizes meetings (e.g. workshops, conferences), support short term scientific visits, develop training schools, and carry out dissemination activities. EVBRES (, COST Action Network (CA-17117), is establishing an international network to encourage researchers and other stakeholders such as patients, ethics committee members, funders, and journal editors to use an EBR approach when conducting or supporting research.

Results EVBRES officially commenced in October 2018 with participations from researchers in more than 35 European COST Action member countries, in addition, more than 10 international partner countries were also involved. We held the first EVBRES workshop at Bergen, Norway in February 2019 and organized four working groups to carry out the mission of EVBRES. Working Group 1 will describe key stakeholders’ role, such as ethic committees, funding agencies, journals and patient groups, in solidifying the evidence-based research approach. Working Group 2 will develop and organize activities aimed at educating researchers on how to systematically incorporate existing evidence when preparing new research. Working Group 3 aims to identify and prioritize tools that can improve efficiency in producing and updating systematic reviews. Working Group 4 will explore methods to detect redundant research as well as measurable outcomes of implementing evidence-based research approach that are relevant to researchers and key stakeholders.

Conclusions The EVBRES imitative, a COST Action Network, was initiated by the EBRNetwork, and successfully launched and is funded to carry out activities until October 2022. The EBRNetwork and its work will play a crucial role in increasing systematic use of existing evidence when planning new research and interpreting the results. These initial steps will lay the firm foundations for future endeavour to promote evidence-based research.

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