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Centre for Evidence-
Based Medicine


Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is an electronic publication designed to supply high quality evidence to inform people providing and receiving care, and those responsible for research, teaching, funding and administration at all levels. It is published quarterly on CD-ROM and the Internet, and is distributed on a subscription basis.

The Abstracts of Cochrane Reviews are available without charge and can browsed or searched.

The Cochrane Library includes:

  • The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews - Regularly updated reviews of the effects of health care
  • Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness - Critical assessments and structured abstracts of good systematic reviews published elsewhere
  • Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials - Bibliographic information on controlled trials
  • Other sources of information including Cochrane Methods Database on the science of reviewing research and evidence-based health care

This is an excellent source of information and their registry of RCTs is larger than that of MEDLINE. Information on how reviews are prepared is provided both on the CD and on the online version.


The goal of UpToDate is "to become the first place that clinicians, including students, will go when they need an answer to a specific clinical question". Its objectives are that information be comprehensive, accurate, verifiable (well-referenced), easy to access, and updated regularly. Its contents include all areas of internal medicine, but the dermatology, oncology, and neurology sections are still under development.

Explicit criteria for seeking and appraising evidence are not described. However, authors of the cards are asked to include both descriptions of the most important, relevant studies, and a brief review of quantitative data.

It is available on CD and on the web. Not all content areas in internal medicine are covered in this resource. The CD is updated quarterly. A brief example is available for viewing on the website.