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BNURS 460 A & B: Translating Scholarly Knowledge to Nursing Practice (Eaton, and Iyer), [and Fall 2023, BNURS 360A: Critical Reading & Information Literacy (Wade)]: Cochrane Library

UW Bothell Nursing 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. (Cochrane Library Training Hub includes quick training videos, user guides and webinars.) (Cochrane Library Help Guide (pdf) is great in this database.)

  • 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.

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)
  • The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; Trials)
  • Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs; Clinical Answers)

Basic Search Strategies.  (The Cochrane Library Help Guide (pdf) 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.

Image of Cochrane Library Search Box

2. The numbers of results are listed above the search results with the database abbreviations, as illustrated below.

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.

Image of Cochrane Library Search Results

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. Click on the "Advanced Search" button either on the home or search results pages, to get to the Search tab. Here you can access limiting options by clicking on the "Title, Abstract, Keywords" box including Record Title;  Abstract; Author; Keyword; All Text; Publication Type; Source; DOI; Accession Number; Trial Registry Number; Cochrane Group; or Cochrane Topic.

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

The Advanced Search page also provides tabs for: Search Manager, Medical Terms (MeSH), and PICO Search (Beta).

Image of Cochrane Library Search Limits with Publication Date Options 

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