This is an archived version of the Handbook. For the current version, please go to or search for this chapter here.  Reporting the search process in the protocol

The inclusion of any detailed (line by line) search strategies in the protocol for a Cochrane review is optional. Where searches have already been undertaken at the protocol stage it is considered useful to include them in the protocol so that they can be commented upon in the same way as other aspects of the protocol. Some CRGs are of the view that no searches should be undertaken until the protocol is finalized for publication as knowledge of the available studies might influence aspects of the protocol such as inclusion criteria.