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Searching Cochrane: Online Training

Cochrane Database

Where do I access Cochrane

Go to the Cabrini Library main page at

On the right hand side of the library page is a quick link to Cochrane

The Navigation bar located on the TOP of the library page has Databases.

Clicking on the Database link will take you to an alphabetical listing of all databases available.

Click on the letter C and Cochrane will be displayed in the listings.

Subject Coverage

The Cochrane Library is an online source of evidence on the effectiveness of a wide range of health care interventions. Its content comprises full text Cochrane systematic reviews published online, structured abstracts of other systematic reviews published in medical and health journals, and a register of controlled clinical trials. These are located in separate databases which are searched simultaneously.

Cochrane Reviews are internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care

The content is updated regularly to incorporate completely new systematic reviews, updates of existing reviews and withdrawal of obsolete reviews.

The Cochrane Library is freely available in Australia, its access is provided by the Australian Department of Health.

When should I search Cochrane?

Cochrane is recognised as a point of care tool or decision making tool.

This means that Cochrane reviews have already asked the questions, evaluated and appraised the literature and have come with evidence to support its conclusion.

  • How do you know if one health care treatment or intervention is any better than another?
  • Will the intervention do more good than harm?
  • How can health professionals and consumers make sense of all the research going on around the world?


Online Tutorial

Cochrane has a comprehensive library of online tutorials 

Searching the Cochrane Library demonstrates the three search tabs , how to do a simple and advanced search.

It also demonstrates using the MESH manager and also using the Search Manager tab to put in complex search strategies.

Cochrane Searching Tips


  • If you want to search for a phrase, enter it with quotes, for example "colon cancer", otherwise the words will be searched as colon AND cancer which may give irrelevant results.
  • Plurals are automatically searched, child will also find children.
  • Truncate terms at either end of a word by typing in an asterisk symbol.
  • Typing NEAR between search terms can be used instead of AND to narrow your search, for example smoking NEAR pregnancy will find the two words within six words of each other in either order, so is more specific than using AND. If you need to, you can specify the number of words apart, for example NEAR/4.
  • Use the Search history link to trace back all your search steps. They can be combined using AND/OR, for example #3 AND #7.
  • There are more useful search tips listed under Search help.