Search Functionality NOW AVAILABLE in The Cochrane Library

RELEASE INFORMATION - Search Features Available for The Cochrane Library 7 DEC 2013

  The Cochrane Library Search tour                                      Understanding Search Error Messages


View a Powerpoint demonstration online                     Download the PowerPoint outlining the new features.



Access the updated Cochrane Library Reference Guide              FAQs for Cochrane New Search Tools



If you are experiencing problems with the search interface, report your problem.

When reporting a problem, please provide as much information as possible. Mark it as COCHRANE SEARCH, and include Saved Search link; information about the browser (IE8, Chrome, Firefox and the version); screen shots of error messages; try to be concise about the problem. The more information the sooner the correct team will be able to investigate. Report the problem using the 'Ask A Question' tab on this webpage: online customer support services.

Release - 7 December 2013

Search Features Available for The Cochrane Library

On December 7th, The Cochrane Library interface provided by Wiley has the following three new search features: 

1. Limit a search by Review Group

This feature allows users to limit a search based on which Cochrane review group produced a Systematic review or provided a CENTRAL article.  Users can access this feature through the “Search Limits” option on the Search tab or through the Limits Icon on the Search Manager tab.   

How to use:

• Use with a search, to identify CDSR articles published by a group on a specific topic
• Use with the * in the search box to find all Systematic reviews published by a group or to identify all CENTRAL records contributed by a specific group.
    - For launch, the CENTRAL counts will include counts from both the group’s register and all handsearch items from that group. In the first quarter of 2014, this will be adjusted to only include CENTRAL items from the group’s register and NOT handsearch items.

Expert Tip 1:  

To find all Systematic reviews or CENTRAL records produced by a specific group, put an * in the search box and select the group in the limits box in either the Search or Search Manager Tab.

Expert Tip 2:  

For CENTRAL articles, users can also continue to search for this information using the Review Group or Field/Network Specialized Register and Handsearch Codes


2.  Search by Accession Number / Name

This feature allows users to search on text or id numbers found in the Accession Number field in many CENTRAL records. Users can search on the source database name, i.e., PubMed or Embase, or by accession number. 

This new field is available from the Search Tab using the “pull down” menu or can be typed directly on the Search Manager Tab using the field label, :an.

How Do I Use It:

• Limit search results to a specific database
    - pubmed:an  (shows all CENTRAL PubMed records)
    - embase:an   (shows all CENTRAL Embase records)

• Find records unique to a specific database
    - embase:an NOT pubmed:an    (CENTRAL records that are unique to Embase)

    - (pubmed NOT embase):an    (CENTRAL records that are unique to PubMed)

    - (pubmed AND embase):an    (CENTRAL records indexed by both services)

• Search a specific ID number
    - 2006328324:an  (Search based on a specific Accession number) 

• Search supports the use of the wildcard (*) with ID numbers
    - 2006*:an and embase:an  (Search for all Embase records published in 2006)


• Feature is for CENTRAL records only
• Allows limits to PubMed and Embase only, not handsearch records
• Does not support numerical range searching

3. Increase frequency of Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Saved Search Email Alerts to daily

For users with saved search alerts, searches will be reviewed every time new articles are loaded to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and sent daily instead of once a month.  Users will only receive an email alert when a newly loaded CDSR article matches their saved search alert. 

Download feature list doc here.


Release - 15 December 2012

On December 15th, The Cochrane Library’s search interface received several updates and improvements. Several new features were introduced, including:

  • Did you mean? – Offers spelling suggestions for the search terms entered
  • Share a search – Allows users to easily share their saved searches via an e-mail link
  • Combine searches using ranges – Eliminates the need to type long strings of line numbers when combining searches
  • Alerts for saved strategies – Set monthly alerts for strings saved on the Search Manager tab
  • Print search with counts – Create a print-friendly version of your search with counts using a single click
  • Type MeSH directly in Search Manager – Users can now directly enter MeSH terms using the Search Manager tab. The syntax supports searching by one or more MeSH terms, turning on and off term explosion, limiting using a qualifier, and searching using Major concept only.

In addition, the following improvements have been made to The Cochrane Library search interface:

  • A confirmation message is now given before a user deletes a search
  • MeSH search will persist in the search box even if the user moves to another tab
  • A clear button is now provided on the MeSH tab
  • In search results, current issue information and total results across ALL databases are now being included in the display.
  • Icons in the Strategy Library on the Search Manager tab have been updated
  • Two issues with MeSH qualifier search are now fixed.
  • Qualifier limit is now being applied to specific terms correctly
  • Searching by qualifier only, and using two or more qualifiers, is now working correctly

For further details click here.


Patch Release - 27 October 2012 

  • Print friendly print option of textfile to word or spread sheet.
  • Special Characters exports successfully resolved.
  • MeSH search using limits to 2 or more qualifiers.
  • MeSH search using qualifier only, resolved to give result rather than N/A.
  • Multiple error messages removed. 
  • Searches must be saved with a user defined name, no default 'untitled' will be accepted.

Patch Release - 8 October 2012

  • Editing line in search manager after pressing result count causes lock - Fix released
  • Adding MESH term to first line of strategy does not display the MESH description - Fix released
  • Citation export  - export is incompatible for special characters when imported to 3rd party software - Fix Released* - (Reference Manager - special characters export still a known issue)*
  • Citation export  - export is incompatible for hyphen character when imported to 3rd party software - Fix Released for all known 3rd party software. 
  • Search Record ID- Unable to search on CN number for CENTRAL nor CD number for CDSR - Fix Released - Search using 'search all text' option.

Patch Release - 21 September 2012

  • Clicking result count on some modified lines in strategy does not return results: Fix Released
  • Loss of page styling when pressing return after entering search term quickly (On Firefox - Intermittent) : Fix Released 


Current Known Issues

1. Copying and pasting Search results with Counts: 

We know some searchers use “copy and paste” to capture copies of their searches with results.  We have found that there are problems with this process depending on what browser you are using. 

In October, we will be introducing an option to see a print friendly version of the search results that will work for all browsers.  Until then here are recommendations for doing this

Interim solution to copy search results with counts from the Search Manager Page
Best Experience: Use Firefox

Cut and paste from Firefox into NotePad.  Some cleanup is needed
• "Enter terms for Search" is seen for all lines created in Search Manager.  Search and replace this phrase with nothing
• Counts for MeSH searches wrap to new line

Internet Explorer (additional cleanup needed): 

Cleanup requires all the above fixes plus
• Search lines created in search Manager duplicate the search terms

Chrome: Cut and Paste of search results from the Search Manager using Chrome DOES NOT WORK

2. Mesh searches using Qualifiers: 

For MeSH searches with terms limited to specific qualifiers, some searches may give slightly higher counts than normal.  The search is finding all articles were the MeSH term and qualifier appear anywhere in the MeSH indexing instead of only those where the qualifier is applied to the MeSH term.  This issue will be resolved in December release.

3. Option to select if word variations are searched does not display in Internet Explorer 8: 

In Internet Explorer 8, the link to turn on and off searching word variants, does not display in the Search limits options.  This will be resolved in December release.

4. Old Cochrane search box displayed by clicking login on framed page. (links redirect to correct search page)

This will be resolved in December release.

5. Search term not highlighted in IE 8 in search Manager. 

This will be resolved in December release. 

The Launch 

On the 15th September Wiley introduced an improved search interface for The Cochrane Library.

These new search features have been developed in consultation with members of The Cochrane Collaboration.

The Cochrane Library users can now see major changes to the layout of search pages and can now use an exciting new range of search features including:

  • Auto-suggest features within both basic and MeSH search functions
  • Updated display of search results and filtering options
  • Ability to view search terms and results on the same page
  • Ability to insert lines and add one search to one another
  • Improved MeSH look-up feature
  • Hover-over Tool Tips giving a brief explanation of the functions


All previously saved searches have been transferred onto the new search platform, with no action required on the part of customers.

This launch was the first stage of a comprehensive programme to enhance search functionality and improve the search experience for all users of The Cochrane Library.

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