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Absolutely the best evidence ever: The Cochrane Library

Forget the endless searching for evidence of effectiveness through journals, books, or libraries, or even Bandolier . You can now have it all (well some of it, anyway) on your computer CD ROM. For the relatively small sum of £95 a year (plus VAT), The Cochrane Library is now available with quarterly updates.

CDSR

What is on offer is staggering. The best available evidence from regularly updated systematic reviews being done by researchers all over the world comes in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. The quality systems which are fundamental to the Collaboration ensure that these are done to the highest possible standards - and what is more, results are available at the click of a few buttons in understandable formats.

DARE

Almost as important are all the reviews done outside the Collaboration. So also in the Library is the York Database of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE). These are structured abstracts done by professionals who have taken review papers apart and put them together again after quality filters have been applied. It also contains records of other reviews, abstracts of reports from health technology agencies around the world and abstracts of reviews from the ACP Journal Club.

CCTR

Finally there is the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR). Contributors to the Cochrane Collaboration have identified over 100,000 controlled trials, including many not found in MEDLINE and other databases (and Bandolier's inside information is that before too long this could rise to 250,000).

You need

A PC with 386SX processor or higher with 4MB RAM minimum and free HD space of 15MB. You don't need to be a rocket scientist or gene jockey to use it.

But all Mac users should note that a Mac version is not available because there is too little demand! This could seriously damage Bandolier's health - we'd like to know how many potential Mac users would want this. Don't tell us, tell the publishers.

The Cochrane Library is available from BMJ Publications (Tel 0171 383 6185/6245, Fax 0171 383 6662).




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