The Cochrane Library is considered by many to be the single most reliable source for evidence on the effects of health care interventions.
It includes seven databases that are updated quarterly, four of which are the efforts of the 15,000 international contributors of The Cochrane Collaboration (www.cochrane.org):
- The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews currently contains more than 4500 regularly-updated systematic reviews and protocols of reviews in preparation.
- The Cochrane Controlled Trials Register currently contains references, mostly with abstracts, of more than 48,000 controlled clinical trials- easily the largest collection of such trials in the world.
- The Cochrane Database of Methodology Reviews contains systematic reviews of the science of reviewing evidence.
The Cochrane Methodology Register contains the bibliography of 9048 articles that could be relevant to anyone preparing systematic reviews
The three other databases in The Cochrane Library include the:
Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, summaries of around 6000 systematic reviews published elsewhere and quality appraised by the UK National Health Service (NHS) Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
Health Technology Assessment Database that contains details of more than 6000 completed and ongoing health technology assessments
NHS Economic Evaluation Database that contains more than 20,000 abstracts of quality assessed economic evaluations from around the world.
Also available is information about The Cochrane Collaboration. One can search for interventions or health conditions across all these databases using free text terms or medical subject headings (MeSH).
Anyone in India with access to the internet now has complementary access to reliable, up-to-date evidence on health care interventions from The Cochrane Library, thanks to sponsorship provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that recently signed a three-year contract for a national subscription with the publishers, John Wiley & Sons.
For further information on The Cochrane Collaborations’ activities in this region, contact the South Asian Cochrane Network office at the Prof Bhooshanam V Moses Centre for Clinical Trials (Tel: 0416 2284499/ 2284505; firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Updated April 22, 2008