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 under the leadership of Iain Chalmers, is the name of a group of over 11,500 volunteers in more than 90 countries who apply a rigorous, systematic process to review the effects of interventions tested in biomedical trials. A few more recent reviews have also studied the results of non-randomized, observational studies.
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 (though this is now usually done electronically, and not "by hand").
- By checking the reference lists of the obtained articles.
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