Search help

When you search in the search box on the top right of the site or on the Cochrane Evidence page, you can use Boolean operators and filters to refine your search.

Boolean operators

OR searches - If you search for two or more words, you use an OR search by default. For example, if you search for paracetamol fever you will find results with either paracetamol or fever in the text. Content with both words appear higher in the results than content with only one of the words.

AND searches - If you strictly want to find content with two or more words, you have to use the AND operator, for example: paracetamol AND fever. This search will exclude results with only one of the words.

Quotes - If you want to search for entire phrases, you can use quotation marks, for example: "paracetamol for fever". But be aware that this will only return content that includes the exact phrase that you are searching for. You will not find results in which the words appear in a different order, or with other words in between.


After you have run an initial search, you will land on the Cochrane Evidence search page, where you can use filters. Health topics example If you use a laptop or computer, the filters are on the left. On the phone, the filters are below your search results, and you can use the "Skip to filters" link at the top of the search results to get there.  Click on "Show advanced filters" to see all available filters.

Health topics  - Health topics show the 10 topics with the most results. If you want to see more than 10, click "Show more". Health topics have three levels, so the top level topics have two levels of sub-topics. The topic filter is an AND filters, so will only find results for which all selected filters apply. 

New and updated - Filters with checkboxes are OR filters, so they find results for either of the selected boxes. Cochrane Reviews can be either New or Updated, but not both at the same time. So ticking both boxes will show you content that is either new or updated.

Podcasts - Tick the box to show only Reviews that have a podcast.

Stage - Cochrane Reviews can be at Title, Protocol or full Review stage. So if you select more than one stage, you will see results for either.

Cochrane group topics - Follows the same logic as Health topics. The categories are specifically linked to the editorial groups who produce Cochrane Reviews.

Published - Select a year, month or day to find content published in a specific time period. You can only select one time period, but not combine several.

Combining filters - If you use different filters at the same time, it is an AND filter. For example, if you select the Cancer health topic and the New filter, you will only find new content about cancer.