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AHCJ member benefit: Access to the Cochrane Library

Access to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews is free for AHCJ members. The Cochrane Collaboration and its publishing partner, John Wiley & Sons Ltd. has waived the fee for journalists who belong to AHCJ.

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) is the leading resource for systematic reviews in health care. The CDSR includes Cochrane Reviews (the systematic reviews) and protocols for Cochrane Reviews as well as editorials. Systematic reviews are a way of carefully summarizing what's known and unknown about medical interventions and other topics. They are less subject to the personal biases that may be found in typical reviews written by individual clinicians or researchers.

Most downloaded new Cochrane Reviews

These were the most frequently downloaded new reviews published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2016.

Most downloaded updated reviews

The five most frequently downloaded updated Cochrane Reviews published in 2016.

Most shared Cochrane Reviews

According to data from Altmetric, the following 2016 Cochrane Reviews were the most often mentioned across newspaper stories, tweets, blog posts, and other sources.

Most popular Cochrane podcasts

Some Cochrane Reviews are accompanied by podcasts, often read by the review authors. These were the most popular podcasts of 2016.

Reviewers are typically researchers who volunteer to work with other members of the Cochrane Collaboration, to perform exhaustive searches for reports of trials (both published and unpublished) from around the world. They then critically examine the quality of the trials, select the best (and explain why they accepted or rejected each trial), and then use statistical methods to synthesize the results of individual trials. In this way, systematic reviews can provide a broad sense of the state of the art.

The reviews can help journalists and our readers and audiences avoid lengthy research that may seem to conclude one thing on one day and something different the next. They also help provide context to help reporters quickly determine how a new research report compares to previous work. And finally, the reviews often point out serious gaps in our knowledge, which can help journalists determine whether the statements of their sources are based on solid evidence or merely reflect personal opinions or institutional and corporate "spin."

Systematic reviews are an essential tool for our reality checks of the research news releases with which we are inundated. The Cochrane Library is one of the leading sources of these systematic reviews.

Sign up for access to the Cochrane Library.