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Library Services



Cochrane Library

A guide to searching and using the Cochrane Library

Cochrane Reviews and Protocols

Cochrane Reviews Cochrane Review menu

The majority of full-text Cochrane Reviews are freely available to read, or download, from within the Cochrane Library as soon as they are published. The full text of some reviews may not be available until 12 months after publication.

Select the title of an individual Cochrane Review to read the full text. You can either download the full review as a PDF, or browse through the review, using the menu to the right of the screen.

Cochrane Protocols

All Cochrane Protocols are freely available within the Cochrane Library.

As for the Cochrane Reviews, you can select a specific protocol to download the PDF, or to use the right hand menu to browse through the sections of the protocol.


The Cochrane Library does not include the full text of the papers and trials that are indexed in the trials database, CENTRAL.

You may be able to select a link in the trial record to find out whether you can get access to the full text. Records may include:

  • A DOI link.
  • A link out to the relevant PubMed record.
  • A link to the relevant record in a clinical trials database (e.g. or WHO ICTRP).

If you are not able to link directly to the full text, you will need to leave the Cochrane Library and check elsewhere to find out whether you have access.

  • UCL staff and students
    • Go to Explore and type, or paste, the name of the paper into the search box.
    • Select Journal articles from the drop-down menu to the right of the search box.
    • Select the magnifying glass icon to run the search.
    • If the article is found, select Full text available beneath the article details.
    • You will be taken to a box headed View it. Select the link in the View it box to view the full-text article on the publisher's website.
  • NHS staff from trusts affiliated to UCL
    • Check the NICE Journals A-Z Search to find out whether you have access to the relevant journal through your NHS England OpenAthens account.
    • If the article is not available through OpenAthens, follow the steps above, for UCL staff and students, to find out whether UCL has a subscription to the article. 
    • If UCL does have a subscription, you can request the article.
  • Interlending & Document Supply service
    • UCL staff and students, and NHS staff from affiliated trusts, can use the Interlending & Document Supply service to request articles that are not available through either a UCL subscription, or through NHS England OpenAthens. Please note, there is a charge for this service.

Editorials, Special Collections, and Clinical Answers

The content contained within the Editorials, Special Collections, and Clinical Answers databases is all free to access.

Epistemonikos, Health Systems Evidence, and Social Systems Evidence

Selecting any of these options will take you out of the Cochrane Library. You will need to check whether you have access to the publications that are indexed by these external databases.