Searching databases and other sources
Main database searches
Our information specialist Marian Showell designs and runs searches for our authors in the major databases (CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO,CINAHL, and AMED) and the Cochrane Gynaecology and Fertility Group (CGF) Specialised register.
The CGF Specialised Register now contains just over 18,700 trials, each reference is coded and the full text is stored as a PDF, so if any authors have any difficulty finding the full text of a paper they can always contact us. Information specialists from all Cochrane Groups continue to submit trials to CENTRAL via the Central Register of Studies (CRS web), a faster and more flexible way of uploading and managing our studies and references.
Searching other sources
In addition to the searches that Marian carries out, we ask our review authors to check the reference lists of included trials and relevant systematic reviews, LILACS and any subject specific databases. If the intervention in the review is concerned with traditional Chinese medicine, herbal remedies and/or acupuncture etc the reviewers will need to search at least one Chinese medical database. As an extra precaution we suggest that authors also do a simple search in Google Scholar (limited to only the top ten hits) and to talk to experts in the field in order to find any trials that may not yet have been indexed in the major databases.
Ongoing trials from Clinicaltrials.gov and the WHO ICTRP search portal are now included in CENTRAL (with a month delay from being registered to be entered into CENTRAL). Therefore it is no longer mandatory for authors to search these trial registries, as the output from these registries will now be included in the CENTRAL search output. We do however encourage authors to search the registries to compensate for the month time lag, by looking only at the very latest registrations.
If you are looking for systematic reviews, we now recommend searching Epistemonikos. It is easy to export up to 100 references in a RIS format.
For further information on how to work with references, please refer to our guidance document.
If you have any searching problems or questions please contact Marian
The Cochrane Linked Data Project for the PICO annotation (Population, Intervention, Comparisons, Outcome) of reviews has begun in earnest for our Group. We are annotating all new Cochrane reviews and updates, i.e. those published from the beginning of this year onwards, using a PICO Annotator tool (PICO-finder). Alongside this work, we also have an initiative to annotate the older reviews. Annotating the reviews is an important step in the development of linked data. This will help us to manage metadata and allow across-data searching.