The Cochrane Library consists of a regularly updated collection of evidence-based databases, including over 5000 Cochrane reviews published in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. These reviews explore the evidence for and against the effectiveness and appropriateness of treatments (medications, surgery, education, etc) in specific circumstances.
The Cochrane Library is published monthly by Wiley Online Library and has an Impact Factor of 5.715. A brief introduction to The Cochrane Library is available here.
Cochrane Library Summit
In December 2008, the Australasian Cochrane Centre hosted a summit in Melbourne with a view to improving the ‘look and feel’ of the Library, maximising its usefulness and ensuring it remains a pivotal resource in facilitating knowledge translation in Australia. The report of the summit summarises the key issues raised and recommendations for action. Many of these recommendations have been picked up by the Editor in Chief and Wiley, and are reflected in changes to the Library that have already been implemented during 2009 and 2010. View the report (1.3mb).
Access to The Cochrane Library in Australia and New Zealand
Since October 2002 all Australians have had access to The Cochrane Library as a result of funding by the Australian Government. In August 2012, the National Health and Medical Research Council renewed Australia's national licence for a further five years. Read the NHMRC’s full press release.
Australians are the highest per capita users of The Cochrane Library in the world. In 2011 Australians viewed 708,000 Cochrane abstracts online and downloaded 501,000 full reviews. The three most popular reviews in Australia last year were models of care for childbearing women, preventing falls in older people living in the community, and zinc for the common cold.
In New Zealand, thanks to funding supplied by the Ministry of Health along with the District Health Boards, all New Zealand residents have had access to The Cochrane Library since November 2005.
ACC Guide to the Cochrane Library
The ACC Guide to the Cochrane Library (previously named the NICS Guide) has been developed to help introduce people to the Library and provide some initial guidance on how to find information within it.
To view the Guide click here.
National provision to The Cochrane Library was officially launched by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson, Minister for Health & Ageing, in Melbourne on 18 October 2002.