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The Cochrane Collaboration developed in response to Archie Cochrane's call for systematic, up-to-date reviews (currently known as systematic reviews) of all relevant randomized controlled trials of health care.
Cochrane's suggestion that the methods used to prepare and maintain reviews of controlled trials in pregnancy and childbirth should be applied more widely was taken up by the Research and Development Programme, initiated to support the United Kingdom's National Health Service. Funds were provided to establish a 'Cochrane Centre', to collaborate with others, in the UK and elsewhere, to facilitate systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials across all areas of health care.
The Cochrane Collaboration, founded in 1993, is the name of a group of over 6,000 specialists in health care who review biomedical trials and results of other research.
The goal is to help people make well informed decisions about health care by preparing, maintaining and ensuring the accessibility of systematic reviews of the effects of health care interventions. The principles of the Cochrane Collaboration:
- building on the enthusiasm of individuals
- avoiding duplication
- minimizing bias
- keeping up to date
- striving for relevance
- promoting access
- ensuring quality
- enabling wide participation
Location of studies
Cochrane reviewers locate studies for inclusion in a Cochrane review by several means 
- By searching electronic databases such as MEDLINE (PubMed) and EMBASE.
- By maintaining and searching a database of controlled trials the so-called Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL)
- By "handsearching", e.g., by looking though page-by-page entire contents of scientific journals
- By checking the reference list of the obtained articles.
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