The Cochrane Library (named after Archie Cochrane) is a collection of databases in medicine and other healthcare specialties provided by Cochrane and other organizations. At its core is the collection of Cochrane Reviews, a database of systematic reviews and meta-analyses which summarize and interpret the results of medical research. The Cochrane Library aims to make the results of well-conducted controlled trials readily available and is a key resource in evidence-based medicine.
Access and useThe Cochrane Library is a subscription-based database, originally published by Update Software and now published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. as part of Wiley Online Library. In many countries, including parts of Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Scandinavian countries, New Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa, and Poland, it has been made available free to all residents by "national provision" (typically a government or Department of Health pays for the license). There are also arrangements for free access in much of Latin America and in "low-income countries", typically via HINARI. All countries have free access to two-page abstracts of all Cochrane Reviews and to short plain-language summaries of selected articles. Cochrane Reviews appear to be relatively underused in the United States, presumably because public access is limited (the state of Wyoming is an exception, having paid for a licence to enable free access to Cochrane Reviews for all residents of Wyoming).
ContentsThe Cochrane Library consists of the following databases:
- The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Cochrane Reviews). Contains all the peer-reviewed systematic reviews and protocols prepared by the Cochrane Review Groups.
- The Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE). Contains quality-assessed abstracts of systematic reviews, including a summary of the review and a critical appraisal of its overall quality.
- The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Is a database that contains details of articles of Controlled trials and other studies of healthcare interventions from bibliographic databases (majorly MEDLINE and EMBASE), and other published and unpublished sources that are difficult to access.Dickersin K, Manheimer E, Wieland S, Robinson KA, Lefebvre C, McDonald S. Development of the Cochrane Collaboration’s Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials. Eval Health Prof. 2002 Mar 1;25(1):38–64.
- The Cochrane Methodology Register (Methodology Register). Is a bibliography of publications that report on methods used in the conduct of controlled trials.
- Health Technology Assessment Database (HTA). Brings together details of completed and ongoing health technology assessments (studies of the medical, social, ethical and economic implications of healthcare interventions) from around the world.
- NHS Economic Evaluation Database (NHS EED). This database systematically identifies economic evaluations from around the world, appraises their quality, and highlights their relative strengths and weaknesses.