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Health: Cochrane Library

Basic and advanced searching options in Cochrane

Search Manager

This option is used for more complex searches.  Clicking on Advance Search brings up a page with a tab for Search Manager. The drop down arrow gives the same options as for Basic Search.  Use the Plus sign to add more search lines.  The database offers suggestions; entering sickle cell brought up a list that included the subject "sickle cell diseases".  Adding pain management as a second line found 67 items of which 36 were systematic reviews.

Add more lines to continue focusing the search.

MeSH Searching

Additional Searching Methods

Many databases give the searcher control over what should be returned in the results list.  Examples include:

  • Proximity searching
    • Near: words must be within 6 words of each other
    • Near/X: where X says how close.  Near/3 would find lung cancer AND cancer of the lung
    • Next: words must be in the order entered into the search box
  • Wildcard searching
    • * at the end of a word finds different "endings".  Transplant* would find transplant, transplants, transplanting, transplantation...
    • * at the beginning.  *glycemic would find hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic
    • * i the middle is useful for British spellings.  p*diatric would find pediatric or paediatric
    • ? replaces a single letter:  wom?n would find women or woman
  • Quotes are used for phrases.  If wildcards are used, quotes won't work.  Use NEXT: hearing next aid*

MeSH Searching Tips

Entering a topic brings up a list of possibilities.  Choosing from the list maps to the actual MeSH subject.  For example, sickle cell diseases is mapped to anemia, sickle cell - the MeSH subject used in PubMed and CINAHL.

Clicking Lookup brings up three columns:

  • Thesaurus on the left which lists other possible subject headings
  • Tree View in the middle - similar to the tree view in CINAHL, and
  • Search Results. 

Click View Results to see the list of entries.  Choose the radio button for Review to see only systematic reviews.