Searching: Conducting

There are lots of resources available to help you when conducting searches.

Database search guides

Many databases provide online tutorials, guides and videos to help use them effectively. See our handy guide to training on health and medical databases.


CENTRAL creation details - CENTRAL is comprised of records retrieved from PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase,, WHO ICTRP, all Review Groups' Specialised Registers and records identified by handsearching various biomedical sources. This page on the Cochrane Library describes the process.

Identifying trials

We have put together a list of resources to use for identifying trials.

Clinical trials registers and regulatory databases

See our guide for links to and information on searching Clinical trials registers and regulatory databases.

CIS handbook

The CIS handbook (various chapters), contains links throughout that will help with conducting searches, including specialised registers, the Cochrane Register of Studies, and handsearching.

Cochrane handbook

The Cochrane handbook (Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions: Chapter 4) provides guidance to authors for the preparation of Cochrane intervention systematic reviews including Cochrane Overviews of reviews.


MECIR (Methodological Expectations of Cochrane Intervention Reviews)

Text mining

Text Mining - Webinar Series (requires a login)
In 2016, the Cochrane Information Specialists' Support Team commissioned Julie Glanville, Associate Director, York Health Economics Consortium to deliver four webinars for Cochrane Information Specialists, focusing on practical applications of text mining tools.


An introduction to the Screen4Me service, presented by Anna Noel-Storr on 6 February 2019:

Screen4Me resources:

Living Systematic Reviews

Slides and a recording from a webinar held in July 2018 on how to conduct searches for Living Systematic Reviews. Presented by Robin Featherstone and Steve McDonald.

Last update: Dec 2021