Cochrane Library Help Guide

The Cochrane Library consists of a collection of regularly updated evidence-based health care databases. The Cochrane collection is designed to provide information and evidence to support health care decision-making.

Database Information: Cochrane Library

Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library consists of the following databases:

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR). The CDSR contains peer-reviewed systematic reviews which are edited by a Cochrane Review Group.
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE). DARE is the only database to contain abstracts of systematic reviews that have been quality-assessed. Each abstract includes a summary of the review together with a critical commentary about the overall quality.
  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). CENTRAL is a database of controlled trial studies from the published journal literature and other sources. Many of the records come from MEDLINE and EMBASE.
  • Cochrane Methodology Register (CMR). The CMR is a bibliography of publications that report on methods used in the conduct of controlled trials. It includes journal articles, books, and conference proceedings, and the content is sourced from MEDLINE and hand searches.
  • Health Technology Assessment Database (HTA). The HTA contains information on ongong and completed health technology assessments ((studies of the medical, social, ethical, and economic implications of healthcare interventions).
  • NHS Economic Evaluation Database (EED). The EED assists decision-makers by systematically identifying economic evaluations from around the world, appraising their quality, and highlighting their relative strengths and weaknesses.

Searching the Cochrane Library

Searching Cochrane Library:

  • Cochrane's default search looks for your word(s) in the title, abstract or keyword fields.
  • The Advanced Search screen allows Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to be used with multiple terms. Searches can also be done by specific Cochrane database.
  • Results are displayed with citations from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews listed first, with links to results from other Cochrane databases listed at the top of the page.
  • Click on the title of the citation to see the abstract and options for getting the PDF of the review. Note: these reviews can be quite lengthy.


For more help:

For more information on the search functionality within the Cochrane Library see:

Exporting Results From the Cochrane Library

From the search results page, select your citations.  Once you have selected your citations, click on export selected citations.

Saving Results/Personal Account in the Cochrane Library

To create a personal account, register as a new user using the sign in link at the top right of the home page.   Creating a personal account allows you to save searches.

Searches within Cochrane can be saved within the Search, Search Manager and Medical Terms (MeSH) features, but you must be logged into your account first in order to use this feature.

  • Search:  After entering required criteria and viewing results, you can click on the “Save Search” button to save your search. You will be able to view your search by clicking on the “View Saved Searches” button. You can also add your search to the Search Manager feature by using the “Send to Search Manager” button.
  • Search Manager:  Search Manager is to be used to create and save complex multi-line searches. Once you have created your search criteria, click the “Save Search” drop down, and select either the “Save” or “Save As” button.  You will be prompted enter a name for your Search criteria and any comments you would like include with it.  Click the “Save” button and now you should be prompted your search has been saved.
  • Medical Terms (MeSH):  Within MeSH you will be able to search for an exact medical term. Once you have viewed the results of your chosen MeSH term, you can then save the search which will then show in your “Viewed Saved Searches” for MeSH or you can add it to Search Manager by using the “Add to search manager” button.

Auto Alerts in the Cochrane Library

Setting (and turning off) a Saved Strategy Alert

For saved search strategies, users can set an alert and receive an email every time new articles retrieved by their search strategy are published in The Cochrane Library. To set alerts, a user must be a registered user of The Cochrane Library and be logged in to their account. To set an alert, go to the Strategy Library Section and click on the arrow, ►, to see all saved searches. Find the search you wish to set the alert for and click the checkbox at the end of the search line. A check in the box means the alert is on; removing the check will turn the alert off.

Cochrane Library Tutorials


Last Updated: Aug 11, 2023 2:05 PM