Empowering Australian patients through access to better health decisions
Australian patients and their health care practitioners will benefit from ongoing access to The Cochrane Library, an online resource published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration, that features over 5000 published systematic reviews of evidence for health care interventions; ranging from surgical procedures and drugs to behavioural therapies and preventive care. Cochrane reviews provide independent high-quality evidence to aid in health care decision making.
The Australian Government, through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), has renewed funding for Australia’s national licence to the Library. This means every Australian will continue to be able to access reliable information about what works and what does not.
Australians are the highest per capita users of the Library in the world. In 2011 Australians viewed 708,000 Cochrane abstracts online and downloaded 501,642 full reviews. The three most popular reviews in Australia were models of care for childbearing women, preventing falls in older people living in the community, and zinc for the common cold. The most popular review internationally looked at interventions for preventing obesity in children.
NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson said that NHMRC is committed to a health literate society where all Australians benefit from access to the latest health and medical research.
“Access to high quality research evidence is being increased through support of The Cochrane Library and NHMRC’s open access policy on the research it funds. Ongoing promotion of research findings will ensure translation into clinical practice.”
Ongoing support for The Cochrane Library is recognition of the vital role systematic reviews play in informing policy and practice.
“Continuing to provide access to the Library will ensure Australia remains a significant contributor to the Cochrane Collaboration, and the leading user of the best available research evidence,” Professor Anderson said.
The renewal of The Cochrane Library licence marks the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the original licence at the Cochrane Colloquium held in Melbourne in 2002.
About The Cochrane Library
The Cochrane Library contains high quality health care information, including the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, from the Cochrane Collaboration. Cochrane Systematic Reviews bring together research on the effects of health care and are considered the gold standard for determining the relative effectiveness of different interventions. The Cochrane Collaboration (http://www.cochrane.org) is a UK registered international charity and the world's leading producer of systematic reviews. It has been demonstrated that Cochrane Systematic Reviews are of comparable or better quality and are updated more often than the reviews published in print journals (Wen J et al; The reporting quality of meta-analyses improves: a random sampling study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 2008; 61: 770-775).
In June 2012, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews received an impact factor of 5.715, from Thomson ISI, placing it in the top ten general and internal medicine journals.
The Cochrane Library is published by Wiley on behalf of The Cochrane Collaboration.
The Cochrane Library Podcasts: a collection of podcasts on a selection of Cochrane Reviews by authors of reviews in this issue will be available from www.cochrane.org/podcasts.
Accessing The Cochrane Library
The Cochrane Library can be accessed at www.thecochranelibrary.com. Guest users may access abstracts and plain language summaries for all reviews in the database, and members of the media may request full access to the contents of the Library. For further information, see contact details below. A number of countries, including countries in the World Bank’s list of low- and low-middle income economies (countries with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of less than $4700), have national provisions by which some or all of their residents are able to access The Cochrane Library for free. To find out more, please visit www.thecochranelibrary.com/FreeAccess.