Cochrane handsearching course

Handsearching is an important part of search for clinical trials to be included in a systematic review. It involves the laborious task of searching through medical journals for accounts of controlled trials which are not yet indexed in the major electronic databases like MEDLINE and EMBASE. 

This resource is a free-of-charge online course “Handsearching: identifying and classifying controlled trial reports”, which has been created as part of the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group US Project, funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health.

This course includes both didactic lessons and knowledge assessments. Participants need about 7 hours to complete the course, but will be able to return to any part of the course at any time. Participants are also asked to complete before and after surveys, where they can provide feedback on the course.

Although the final assessment is related to eyes and vision, the course is applicable and useful to health professionals from all specialties. There are no prerequisites for this Course, but participants should have a basic knowledge of the approaches and language related to study design.

The course is hosted by TRAMS, public health workforce training management system for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. You have to register to access this course.

After using this resource, you should be able to...
  • Understand why handsearching is important
  • Outline the process of handsearching in Cochrane
  • Identify and classify trial reports as randomized controlled trial, controlled clinical trial, or neither

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.