This is an archived version of the Handbook. For the current version, please go to or search for this chapter here.  What is in The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) from other databases and handsearching?

Other general healthcare databases such as those published in Australia and China have undergone similar systematic searches to identify reports of trials for CENTRAL. The Australasian Cochrane Centre co-ordinated a search of the National Library of Australia’s Australasian Medical Index from 1966 (McDonald 2002). This search has recently been updated to include records added up to 2007. The Chinese Cochrane Center, with support from the Australasian Cochrane Centre, co-ordinated a search of the Chinese Biomedical Literature Database from 1999 to 2001. In an ongoing project, the Chinese Cochrane Center, with support from the UK Cochrane Centre, is searching a number of Chinese sources with a view to including these records in CENTRAL. Similarly, the Brazilian Cochrane Centre in collaboration with the Regional Library of Medicine in Brazil (BIblioteca REgional de MEdicina - BIREME) is planning to co-ordinate a search of the Pan American Health Organization’s database LILACS (Latin American Caribbean Health Sciences Literature).


Each of the Cochrane Centres has the responsibility for searching the general healthcare literature of its country or region. The CRGs and Fields are responsible for co-ordinating searching of the specialist healthcare literature in their areas of interest. More than 3,000 journals have been, or are being, handsearched. Identified trial reports that are not relevant to a CRG’s scope and thus are not appropriate for their Specialized Register (see below) are forwarded to Wiley-Blackwell as handsearch results. Handsearch records can be identified in CENTRAL as they are assigned the tag HS-HANDSRCH or HS-PRECENTRL.