Cochrane Library

Cochrane Library (proxied for UPEI users outside of region)

As of 2019, the entire PEI community can use Cochrane for free, as long as you connect using a device with an IP address that "geolocates" within the 4 Atlantic provinces, see further explanation below.

What is The Cochrane Library?

The Cochrane Library EAL (Enhanced Access License) is a collection of databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.  It is owned by Cochrane and published by John Wiley & Sons.

The key user groups of the Cochrane Library – those that use the content to inform healthcare decisions – are clinicians and healthcare workers, researchers (including information specialists and guideline developers), students, consumers (including patients and carers), and policy-makers.

The Library includes the following:

Editorials aim to stimulate discussion and ideas around the development of evidence synthesis to promote good decision-making in clinical care and health policy. The Editor in Chief may commission editorials linked to Cochrane Reviews of interest or on topics likely to be of interest to a broad readership.

  • The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) is a highly concentrated source of reports of randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials.  In addition to bibliographic details (author, title, source, year, etc.) CENTRAL records often include an abstract (a summary of the article). They do not contain the full text of the article.
  • Cochrane Clinical Answers (CCAs) provide a readable, digestible, clinically-focused entry point to rigorous research from Cochrane Reviews. They are designed to be actionable and to inform point-of-care decision-making.  Each CCA contains a clinical question, a short answer, and data for the outcomes from the Cochrane Review deemed most relevant to practising healthcare professionals, our target audience.  The evidence is displayed in a user-friendly tabulated format that includes narratives, data, and links to graphics.  Cochrane Clinical Answers were developed by Cochrane Innovations and Wiley.

Who Has Access and How Does it Work?

All residents of the four Atlantic provinces have access.  If they are coming in from an Atlantic region IP, they get direct access ( with no need to login or authenticate. If they are coming in from outside of the region, they need to authenticate through their home institution (CAUL-CBUA institution, a provincial health authority, the IWK, or the public library system in their province).  Note that they can search The Cochrane Library without authenticating, but if they want to access the fulltext of the articles, they will need to authenticate.

Of note, many ISPs who service the Atlantic Region (Bell, Rogers, Telus, Koodoo, etc.) randomly assign their Atlantic Region customers IPs from Quebec, so on some days when you access the Internet at home, you may have an IP from one of the Atlantic provinces and you’ll have no problem accessing The Cochrane Library fulltext content, and one other days The Cochrane Library may say that you need to login to get to the fulltext content. This is likely because your ISP has assigned you an IP from Quebec that day.  So, to access Cochrane, you’ll need to authenticate. Unfortunately, there is no way to control what IP you get on any particular day from your ISP.  I plan to contact ISPs in the region to discuss this practice and the implications for these regional access deals; although I’m not sure if they will change their current practice.

A way to check what IP you’ve been assigned that day, and to what geographic area it resolves, you can go to an IP geolocation resolver to check. The one most akin to what Wiley will resolve the address to is

More information at the CAUL website

How to Use Cochrane Library