National Cochrane Library licence renewed

Cape Town | The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) recently renewed the national Cochrane Library licence that will make evidence-based scientific reviews accessible to healthcare decision makers in South Africa.

This collaboration between Wiley, the SAMRC and Cochrane South Africa offers free access, through IP recognition, to the Cochrane Library throughout South Africa and enables all South Africans to access the gold- standard in evidence-based healthcare research.

This renewal of the licence means that healthcare practitioners, policy makers, researchers and the general public will have sustained ‘one-click’ access to reliable and unbiased Cochrane Reviews.

The national licence commenced in June 2017 and since then access to the library has increased substantially. Between June 2017 and June 2018 full-text accesses increased from 31 549 to 51 089 - an increase of over 60%.

Cochrane Reviews provide reliable and unbiased evidence through the identification, assessment, synthesis and dissemination of the best-available research findings. The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases containing Cochrane Reviews, special collections and easily accessible podcasts. It has recently been revamped to promote even easier access and more user-friendly features. Subject areas are extremely wide ranging and include HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, mental health, cancer, paediatric care, surgical procedures, public health, plus many more. For example, the database currently contains 588 Cochrane Reviews on depression.

The Cochrane Library can be found at

Who can access the library?

All South Africans

Who will benefit?

Making a healthcare decision based on best-available evidence will benefit anyone who uses the Cochrane Library, this might include – civil society, healthcare providers, policy makers, managers and educators, students and parents.

What are Cochrane Reviews and how can they help you?

Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in healthcare and health policy. They investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. They are published online in the Cochrane Library.

A systematic review addresses a clearly formulated question. For example: Can music therapy help in alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety?

To answer this question, we search for and collate all the existing primary research on the topic that meets certain criteria; then we assess it using stringent guidelines, to establish whether or not there is conclusive evidence about a specific treatment.

Cochrane Reviews are peer reviewed, dynamic and updated regularly. This ensures that treatment decisions can be based on the most up-to-date, reliable evidence.


South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
The scope of the SAMRC’s research includes basic laboratory investigations, clinical research and public health studies. Research at the SAMRC focuses on the top 10 causes of death in South Africa. To assist with delivering on this vital mandate, the organisation works closely with the National Department of Health, and other key stakeholders such as the Department of Science and Technology, South African and international science councils, medical schools, universities, research institutions and international collaborators. For more information see

Cochrane South Africa
Cochrane South Africa (CSA), an intramural research unit of the SAMRC, was established in 1997 and is part of the Cochrane Collaboration. The CSA is currently one of 15 Cochrane Centres worldwide and the only Centre in Africa. The centre’s vision is that healthcare decision-making within Africa will be informed by high-quality, timely and relevant research evidence. For more information see

Cochrane (
Cochrane is a global independent network of researchers, professionals, patients, carers and people interested in health. Cochraneproducesreviewswhichstudyallofthebest-availableevidencegeneratedthrough research and makeiteasierto informdecisions about health. These are called systematic reviews. Cochrane is a not-for-profit organisation withcollaborators from more than 130 countries working together to produce credible, accessible health information that is free fromcommercial sponsorship and other conflicts of interest. Our work is recognised as representing an international gold standard for high-quality, trusted information.

The Cochrane Library is published by Wiley.

Wiley, a global company, helps people and organisations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at

Media enquiries:
Michelle Galloway
Tel: +27 (0) 84 604 4955

Release date: 
Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 12:52