National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Program – Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Library is the main output of the internationally acclaimed Cochrane Collaboration, a highly respected international collaboration of health professionals, researchers, and consumers.

Page last updated: 12 December 2014

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The Cochrane Collaboration | About the Cochrane Library | National Access | Funding Arrangements
The Australian Government funds free public access to the Cochrane Library

The Cochrane Collaboration

The Cochrane Collaboration is an international, non-profit organisation that produces unbiased analyses of reliable and relevant research studies. Cochrane systematic reviews are widely acknowledged as constituting the highest level of scrutiny of the scientific evidence available.

Since 1994 the Australian Government has been providing financial support for Australian-based Cochrane Collaboration activities. Funding is now allocated through the NHMRC. Initially, this support was for the Australasian Cochrane Centre, a regional centre that coordinates Australia's participation (and other neighbouring countries) in the Collaboration. The Australian Government has also made competitive funding available to Australian-based Cochrane groups that produce systematic reviews (or support their production).

The reviews prepared within the Collaboration are published in The Cochrane Library. This library also contains the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register that is now recognised as the most comprehensive bibliography of published reports of controlled trials available.

More information about the Cochrane Collaboration is available from their website.

About the Cochrane Library

As the name suggests, The Cochrane Library is a collection of resources that can be used as a tool to help clinicians and consumers make decisions about appropriate and effective health care. The information is presented in the form of systematic reviews (also referred to as Cochrane reviews). These reviews are the most rigorous in the world, and provide the foundations for continuous improvement in the quality of health care. Entry to the Library is available via The Cochrane Library.

National Access

Australian access to The Cochrane Library was launched in October 2002. This national subscription is managed by the Australian Government through the NHMRC.

This license has provided all Australians with open and free access to The Cochrane Library and has no doubt contributed to the fact that Australians are now the highest users of the Library per capita in the world.

Funding Arrangements


Australia is one of the first developed countries to negotiate a national subscription to The Cochrane Library, giving all Australians access to the library from their home computer, or any other terminal with Internet access in Australia, free of charge. The Australian Government has funded this national subscription in an effort to provide Australians with the best and latest evidence to inform their health care choices.

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