This is an archived version of the Handbook.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

7.2.1  Studies (not reports) as the unit of interest

A Cochrane review is a review of studies that meet pre-specified criteria for inclusion in the review. Since each study may have been reported in several articles, abstracts or other reports, a comprehensive search for studies for the review may identify many reports from potentially relevant studies. Two distinct processes are therefore required to determine which studies can be included in the review. One is to link together multiple reports of the same study; and the other is to use the information available in the various reports to determine which studies are eligible for inclusion. Although sometimes there is a single report for each study, it should never be assumed that this is the case.