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BNURS 360A: Critical Reading & Information Literacy (Anderson), (and BNURS 460: Translating Scholarly Knowledge to Nursing Practice): Cochrane Library

UW Bothell BSN Students

Tips for Using the Cochrane Library

Cochrane Library  - UW restricted. Evidence-based medicine resource databases. Unlimited users. Use the asterisk (*) symbol to retrieve multiple variations of a word; e.g. nurs* will retrieve nurse, nursed, nurses, and nursing.

What is Cochrane Library?  The Cochrane Library is a UW Restricted database that consists of a regularly updated (monthly) collection of evidence-based medicine materials. These materials are organized into different databases. 

  • Strengths: (1) Contains only evidence-based medicine resources, (2) You have access to it through HEALWA, and (3) It has a good help guide.
  • Weaknesses: (1) It has little full text available, with no UW purple buttons to locate the full text, (2) You will see citations repeated in PubMed and CINAHL, and (3) It does not have the best search feature, so keep your search words simple.

To access Cochrane Library away from campus, click on the Cochrane Library link above and you should be prompted to login with you UW NetID and password.

     -More information from UW Health Sciences Library: Evidence-Based Practice Tools Summary.

     -HELP (pdf) guide for using Cochrane Library.

Read more about techniques for locating Evidence-Based Practice Resources from the UW Health Sciences Library. The Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses page will take you to a section that discusses and links to Cochrane Library databases. The Research Articles page is where you can find links to PubMed and CINAHL.

The list of the databases contained within Cochrane Library. In Cochrane Library, see the About the Cochrane Library page for more information.

  • The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR; Cochrane Reviews)
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE; Other Reviews)
  • The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; Trials)
  • The Cochrane Methodology Register (CMR; Methods Studies)
  • Health Technology Assessment Database (HTA; Technology Assessments)
  • The NHS Economic Evaluation Database (EED; Economic Evaluations)
  • About The Cochrane Collaboration (About; Cochrane Groups) 


Basic Search Strategies.  (The HELP (pdf) guide is great in this database.)

1. To search the Cochrane Library, type your topic into the search box at the top of the home page, Example: restraint use reduc*. All databases in the library are searched.

2. The numbers of results are listed after the database abbreviations on the left side of the "Search" page, as illustrated below.
CL Search Results

3. Click on the shortened database names, such as Cochrane Reviews or Trials (example shown above), to open the results from the different databases. The Cochrane Reviews are in full text

4. Click on the title to open the text of the result, as illustrated below.

Search Results Citations

5.  If there is no full text available, type or paste the article title from the citation into the UW Libraries Search system (online at to view the online and print holdings.

6. From either the "Advanced Search" link on the home page, or the "Search" tab or link after you have conducted a search, you can access limiting options by clicking on the "Title, Abstract, Keywords" box including Search All Text; Record Title; Author; Abstract; Keywords; Title, Abstract, Keywords; Tables; Publication Type; Source; DOI; or Accession Number.

To limit your search by Date Range, click on the Search Limits link, as illustrated below. A box will launch that you can enter the years you want to limit to.

Notice in the image below the additional search tabs at the top including: Search Manager, Medical Terms (MeSH), and Browse.


Advanced Search Strategies See the list of search tips in the "Search Manager" section on page 6 of the HELP (pdf) guide. Also use the Search Manager tab to create complex, multi-line searches, and save them.

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