Cochrane Library


The Cochrane Library publishes independent high-quality evidence to inform healthcare decision making.

What does the Cochrane Library do?

This resource provides information and evidence to support decisions taken in healthcare by preparing, maintaining and promoting access to different types of high quality evidence to inform healthcare decision making.

When should I use the Cochrane Library?

The Cochrane Library is useful when you require:

  • a source of best evidence on effective treatments and healthcare interventions
  • information to support evidence-based healthcare

What information is available?

The Cochrane Library consists of three separate evidence-based medicine databases:

  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) - The CDSR includes all Cochrane Reviews (and protocols) prepared by Cochrane Review Groups. Each Cochrane Review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Cochrane Reviews are updated to reflect the findings of new evidence when it becomes available because the results of new studies can change the conclusions of a review. 
  • Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CENTRAL) - CENTRAL is a highly concentrated source of reports of randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials. In addition to bibliographic details (author, source, year, etc.) CENTRAL records will often include an abstract (a summary of the article). 
  • Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs) -  CCAs provide a readable, digestible, clinically-focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane Reviews. They are designed to be actionable and to inform point-of-care decision-making. Each CCA contains a clinical question, a short answer, and data for the outcomes from the Cochrane Review deemed most relevant to practising healthcare professionals, our target audience. 

Do I need a password?

Access to the Cochrane Library does not require a password, however it is worth registering with the site if you want to save your search histories.

How do I access the Cochrane Library?

There is a link to the Cochrane Library from the Healthcare Databases page of this website or it can be accessed directly from

Need further help?

If you need help using the Cochrane Library please see the training guide or book a one-to-one training session.