The CRS is a web-based data repository and management system, developed for Cochrane. The specialised trials registers maintained by CISs are stored and managed within the CRS. It is a ‘meta-register’ of all the trials identified by Cochrane. The CRS web interface acts as a “front end” for CRS-D, a data warehouse, which holds information and data relating to Cochrane reviews.
The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) is created within the CRS, drawn partly from the references added by CISs and partly from references to trial reports sourced from other bibliographic databases (e.g. PubMed and Embase). The CRS is the only route available for publication of records in CENTRAL.
Each Cochrane Review Group has its own section (segment) within the larger database.
By default, each Review Group’s segment contains:
- Any studies which have been included or excluded from the Group’s reviews, along with the references linked to each study. This information is collected through a link with Archie, Cochrane’s management system.
- Any references which have been added to CENTRAL by the Group, which have been tagged with the Group’s CENTRAL code.
- Any references or studies that have been added to the Group’s specialised register.
The Review Group can use their segment to contain any bibliographic records, and any other data they want to include, such as translations or risk of bias information.
Another way of accessing CENTRAL records is via the Cochrane Register of Studies Online (CRSO). This is a web-based real-time version of CENTRAL, created when the CRS was only available on a user’s desktop. CRSO can be accessed at: http://crso.cochrane.org/
You will need an Archie username and password to gain access to CRSO. You can search and view CENTRAL records via CRSO, and add references to your register. But you cannot edit records, or import any records into it. This functionality is only available to Cochrane information specialists using the full version of the CRS.