The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions is the official guide that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of healthcare interventions. The current version of the Handbook is 5.1.0 (updated March 2011), edited by Julian Higgins and Sally Green.
All authors should consult the Handbook for guidance on the methods used in Cochrane systematic reviews. The Handbook includes guidance on the standard methods applicable to every review (planning a review, searching and selecting studies, data collection, risk of bias assessment, statistical analysis, GRADE and intepreting results), as well as more specialised topics (non-randomized studies, adverse effects, economics, patient-reported outcomes, individual patient data, prospective meta-analysis, qualitative research, reviews in public health and overviews of reviews).
Chinese Cochrane Center has translated the Handbook with funding from the Cochrane Central Executive. Further details on the translators are included in the document.
Access to the online Handbook in English is available via the Handbook website, and an official translation in also available in Spanish (see links above right).
Translation of some technical terminology into simplified Chinese is difficult, there is ongoing discussion of the most appropriate translations for some terms. We apologise if readers have difficulty with some terms.
The translation was undertaken over a lengthy period of time, and translation of different sections is based on three published versions of the English Handbook. The relevant version is stated at the beginning of each chapter. The version details are as follows:
- Chapters 1-5 and 15-22 are based on Version 5.00, published in February 2008.
- Chapters 6, 11, 13 and 14 are based on Version 5.02, published in September 2009.
- Chapters 8, 9 and 12 are based on version 5.10, published in March 2011 (current version).
Click here for further details on past versions of the Handbook.
You can also access the Handbook in English in the following ways:
- In RevMan: the Handbook can be accessed offline through the Help menu of Cochrane's review production software.
As a textbook: Version 5.0.2 of the Handbook was published in by Wiley-Blackwell in September 2008 and is still available for sale. Note that this is no longer the most current version of the Handbook, and readers should consult the What's New section for more information.
Printable (PDF) versions of all chapters (Version 5.1.0) are available to registered Cochrane contributors (Archie login required).
Our Glossary includes definitions of methodological and organisational terms as used by Cochrane.
Contact the Editors
Julian Higgins (Co-Editor)
School of Social and Community Medicine, University of Bristol
and Centre for Reviews and Dissemination, University of York
Rachel Churchill (Co-Editor)
Academic Unit of Psychiatry, School of Social and Community Medicine
University of Bristol
Miranda Cumpston (Co-Editor)
Head of Learning & Support, Cochrane
Jackie Chandler (Co-Editor)
Methods Co-ordinator, Cochrane
How to cite the Handbook
Higgins JPT, Green S (editors). Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration, 2011. Available from www.cochrane-handbook.org.
Details of how to cite individual chapters are available at the end of each chapter.
Archived copies of the following previous versions of the Handbook are available:
- Version 4.2.6: September 2006 [PDF] 2.8MB
- Version 5.0.0: February 2008 [browsable]
- Version 5.0.2: September 2009 [browsable]