The origins, evolution, and future of The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2009 Jul;25 Suppl 1:182-95. doi: 10.1017/S026646230909062X. Epub 2009 Jun 18.


The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) evolved in response to Archie Cochrane's challenge to the medical profession to assemble "a critical summary, adapted periodically, of all ... relevant randomized controlled trials". CDSR has been an electronic publication from its inception and this has meant that Cochrane reviews (i) need not be constrained by lack of space; (ii) can be updated as new information becomes available and when mistakes or other ways of improving them are identified; and (iii) can be cross-linked to other, related sources of relevant information. Although CDSR has become widely cited, it must continue to evolve in the light of technological and methodological developments, and in response to the needs of people making decisions about health care.

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual* / trends
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parturition
  • Perinatal Care
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*