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Focus on Resources: The Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is a collection of evidence-based medical databases that provide a filtered approach for health practitioners to find summarized "best evidence" for determining the effectiveness of specific interventions for diseases and related health care problems. This resource has access to six databases that include:

  • The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • The Cochrane Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects
  • The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials
  • The Cochrane Methodology Register
  • Health Technology Assessment Database
  • NHS Economic Evaluation Database

The heart of The Cochrane Library is the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews with over 6,000 full-text reports that are put out under the auspices of the non-profit Cochrane Collaboration and updated monthly. Authors of the reports follow very rigid designs and methodologies to produce reviews that are highly regarded and often end up in important medical publications like the New England Journal of Medicine and Lancet.

Users can navigate the library through the homepage with a search box that allows searching with different criteria including keyword. A link for advanced searching allows the option of restricting results to one of the libraries database sets. A MeSH search link also allows users to call up material by the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary of subject headings. Retrieved results can be viewed full-text in a PDF format, or browsed through a series of linked sections that are viewable through the left frame of the retrieved record. The sections can include things like abstract, plain language summary, objectives, methods, results, discussion, and authors conclusion. For users seeking medical information with a critical appraisal component the Cochrane Library would be a logical first choice. If any question should arise in accessing or using this database please don't hesitate to visit the reference desk at Legacy Library.

Navigating to The Cochrane Library on the Legacy Library web site:

  • Go to the Legacy Library home page:
  • In the "Locate Resources" box in the center-left of the page, select "Articles"
  • Browse alphabetically under "C"
  • Or select "List by Subject" under "Medicine and Health"

Connect to The Cochrane Library now.