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

Through a collaboration between Wiley, the SAMRC and Cochrane South Africa, the renewal of the licence means that healthcare practitioners, policy makers, researchers and the general public will have sustained free access to reliable and unbiased Cochrane Reviews.

The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases containing Cochrane Reviews, special collections and easily accessible podcasts. Cochrane Reviews provide reliable and unbiased evidence through the identification, assessment, synthesis and dissemination of the best-available research findings.

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%.

Subject areas include HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, mental health, cancer, paediatric care, surgical procedures, public health, and many more. For example, the database currently contains 588 Cochrane Reviews on depression.

“The renewal of the licence means that all South Africans can freely access the very best in evidence-based information on health. This means that wherever you are – from rural areas to cities across the country – you can access up-to-date, credible information from systematic reviews on a huge variety of health conditions and topics. Information on the Cochrane library is easy to search and available to everyone – including the general public, other researchers and policy makers,” said Cochrane South Africa, Charles Wiysonge.

The Cochrane Library can be found at

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