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Health: Cochrane Library

Basic and advanced searching options in Cochrane

Basic Search Options

Title, Abstract, Keywords is the default setting for searching the Cochrane Library.  The complete list includes:

Searching options

Basic searching is a good option when you are looking for a information that can be described with one or two words or a single phrase (put in " ").

Advanced Search gives the option for Search Limits - limiting to publication year is found on this page.

Searching Tips

  • Click on the title to bring up the review page. 

  • When looking for Reviews, click the radio button labeled Review found on the left side of the results page
  • For terms that may use a hyphen, do not include the hyphen
  • Double quotations marks (for a phrase)
  • Boolean operators - AND, OR, NOT (see below)

Boolean Operators (to combine terms or results)

  • AND: both terms MUST appear
  • OR: at least one term must appear
  • NOT: the first word must appear but the second word cannot appear

Use the Help option on the top of every page to get more details on how to search for content in this database.  This link goes to a PDF that includes the overview plus many more explanations about the various searching options.


This first box is on the home page and is the Basic search box:

After clicking GO, the Advanced Search page appears, which gives the option to click on Search Limits.

Notice that there are 186 results for my search on sickle cell pain - of which 25 are systematic reviews.

Adding management to the search decreased the overall number to 51 and the number of systematic reviews to 11.