Sir Iain Chalmers is a British health services researcher, one of the founders of the Cochrane Collaboration, and coordinator of the James Lind Initiative, which includes the James Lind Library and James Lind Alliance.
Chalmers qualified in medicine in the mid-1960s, and then practised as a clinician for seven years in the United Kingdom and the Gaza Strip. In the mid-1970s, he became a full-time health services researcher with a particular interest in assessing the effects of health care. Between 1978 and 1992, he directed the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit in Oxford.
These projects were well received, and the National Health Service Research and Development Programme then extended the approach to other areas of health care. In 1992, Chalmers was appointed director of the UK Cochrane Centre. Subsequently, he became founding editor of the James Lind Library, which documents the history and evolution of fair trials of treatments, and helped to establish the James Lind Alliance, a non-profit organization that "aims to identify the most important gaps in knowledge about the effects of treatments". The Library has established strategic agreements with international and non-profit organizations to disseminate its publications to a broad international and multilingual audience. Chalmers inspired champions all over the world leading to the development of the Cochrane Collaboration and by 2011 this collaboration had nearly 30,000 volunteers contributing towards summarising research evidence to improve health. His contributions have been instrumental in advancing international policies on research for health -such as PAHO's Policy on Research for Health, and to promote a better understanding of the importance of building bridges between users and producers of research for health policy and health care delivery. Chalmers previously co-chaired the Research Strategy Committee of the MS Society. The MS Society recognises the need for systematic reviews of existing pre-clinical research as well as clinical research, about which the charity SABRE Research UK raises awareness. Chalmers also helped establish the IDEAL framework for surgical research.
- Britain's gift: a "Medline" of synthesised evidence
- The evolution of The Cochrane Library, 1988-2003
- Restore true open access to bmj.com
- Systematic Reviews: Reporting, updating, and correcting systematic reviews of the effects of health care
- Select Committee on Health: Memorandum by Sir Iain Chalmers (PI 29)
- Open access books by the James Lind Library http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/testing-treatments.html#Testingtreatments
- The Cochrane Collaboration
- James Lind Library
- James Lind Alliance
- Unique, multilingual resource on testing health-care treatments, Bull World Health Organ 2009;87:412–413 | doi:10.2471/BLT.09.030609
- La Biblioteca James Lind. Rev Panam Salud Publica/Pan Am J Public Health 25(2), 2009
- The James Lind Library: explaining and illustrating the evolution of fair tests of medical treatments. J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2008; 38:259–64
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