National Cochrane Library licence renewed

Published by

Annette Gerritsen

Published on

25 September 2018

The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) recently renewed the national Cochrane Library licence that will make evidence-based scientific reviews accessible to healthcare decision makers in South Africa.

This collaboration between Wiley, the SAMRC and Cochrane South Africa offers free access, through IP recognition, to the Cochrane Library throughout South Africa and enables all South Africans to access the gold standard in evidence-based healthcare research.

This renewal of the licence means that healthcare practitioners, policy makers, researchers and the general public will have sustained ‘oneclick’ access to reliable and unbiased Cochrane Reviews.

The national licence commenced in June 2017 and since then access to the library has increased substantially. Between June 2017 and June 2018 full-text accesses increased from 31 549 to 51 089 – an increase of over 60%.

Cochrane Reviews provide reliable and unbiased evidence through the identification, assessment, synthesis and dissemination of the best-available research findings. The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases containing Cochrane Reviews, special collections and easily accessible podcasts. It has recently been revamped to promote even easier access and more user-friendly

features. Subject areas are extremely wide ranging and include HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, mental health, cancer, paediatric care, surgical procedures, public health, plus many more. For example, the database currently contains 588 Cochrane Reviews on depression.

The Cochrane Library can be found at

Who can access the library?

All South Africans

Who will benefit?

Making a healthcare decision based on best-available evidence will benefit anyone who uses the Cochrane Library, this might include – civil society, healthcare providers, policy makers, managers and educators, students and parents.

What are Cochrane Reviews and how can they help you?

Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in healthcare and

health policy. They investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. They are published online in the Cochrane Library. A systematic review addresses a clearly formulated question. For example: Can music therapy help in alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety?

To answer this question, we search for and collate all the existing primary research on the topic that meets certain criteria; then we assess it using stringent guidelines, to establish whether or not there is conclusive evidence about a specific treatment.

Cochrane Reviews are peer reviewed, dynamic and updated regularly. This ensures that treatment decisions can be based on the most up-to-date, reliable evidence.


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