Frequently Asked Questions





I want to write a Cochrane Review. How do I get started?

Being a Cochrane author is a lot of work and a long commitment, but if you believe you have the skills and experience, please review the information on our 'Become an author' page. If you haven't been an author on a Cochrane Review before, please look at some of the ways you can contribute to the work of Cochrane Reviews and build your skills:

If you're already a published Cochrane author and have a new topic that you're interested in proposing, please go to Topic submission.

How can I get access to Cochrane evidence?

There are several options for getting access to Cochrane evidence:

  • You can search the abstracts and Plain Language Summaries of all published Cochrane Reviews and protocols on 'Our evidence'. Cochrane evidence summaries are available in 17 languages; to access languages other than English, select from the language tags listed at the top of the 'Our evidence' page.
  • If you're affiliated with a hospital, your hospital, healthcare system, or affiliated research institution may have access to the Cochrane Library through a subscription managed by a research library or similar. If you have this type of affiliation, you may wish to consult with the library system.
  • Depending upon your location, you may have access through a regional or national site licence. To find out if you're eligible for free access to the Cochrane Library, please visit the 'Access options' page:

If none of these options applies to you, you may be interested in looking into a subscription. To find out about subscription options, please visit 'How to order the Cochrane Library':

I have a medical condition and I need advice or information. Can you help me?

We regret that we are not able to provide medical advice or information. You can search the abstracts and Plain Language Summaries of all published Cochrane Reviews and protocols on 'Our evidence'.

I can’t find any information about topic X. Why hasn’t it been reviewed in the Cochrane Library?

The Cochrane Library is a living database of systematic reviews of health evidence which aims to be comprehensive across health topics. The selection of topics for which complete Cochrane Reviews are available at any time is determined by a combination of volunteer interest and energy, editorial resources, and priorities established by consultation with a variety of stakeholders.

Stakeholders who have identified an unanswered research question are welcome to submit a topic proposal in their area of interest. All topic proposals are subject to review, amendment, and acceptance or refusal at the discretion of Cochrane editorial leadership following their assessment of appropriateness, applicability, and required resources.


Which languages do you translate into?

Thanks to the hard work of our volunteer teams, we currently translate into Chinese (simplified and traditional), Croatian, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and Thai. Not all of these languages are actively seeking volunteers to join. If this is the case, or your language is not included, keep reading to learn what else you can do.

Why do you translate into some languages, but not others?

Translation is a big need in many non-English speaking countries, but it is also a big job! It requires a lot of resources to start and coordinate a project, even if there are a lot of volunteers. If we don’t translate into your language, then that’s usually because there are no resources, and no one has come forward yet who can initiate a project. Maybe you can?

What do you translate?

We mainly translate abstracts and plain language summaries of Cochrane Reviews from English into your language. You can learn more about Cochrane Reviews here.

Can I choose what I want to translate?

Yes, you can usually choose which Cochrane Reviews you want to translate. We do recommend translations focus on recently published Reviews. Some translation teams prioritise specific areas of health that are of particular relevance to their country. But generally, translators can choose the topics that interest them.

How does the translation process work?

We use an online platform for translation that is freely available for all volunteers. Team coordinators and experienced volunteers work as editors and will review your work before it is published. You can also contact them if you have questions or if you need advice.

How do I join Cochrane as a translator?

If you want to join Cochrane as a volunteer translator, please see here for more information.

What if my language is not listed?

Please join our mailing list to stay up-to-date with translation news and opportunities to get involved in other languages. You can also take a look at Task Exchange, where Cochrane contributors post opportunities for ad hoc translation in a variety of languages, as well as other tasks related to Cochrane Reviews.

Can I join even if I don’t have any experience?

Yes. While any experience in health, translation, writing or editing is an advantage, it is not a compulsory requirement. We are asking you to do a test translation when you first sign up, but generally, anybody willing to lend their time and skills to our projects is welcome.

What is in it for me?

Luckily for us, our volunteers see it as a personal reward to contribute to Cochrane, because they believe in what we do, and like to be part of our organisation. Contributing as a translator can also be a learning experience and equip you with new skills. While we cannot offer payment to our volunteers, your name will appear next to your published translations to acknowledge your contribution. We offer certificates and references, once you have translated a certain amount, in recognition of your work. Also, as part of our membership scheme, translators who contribute regularly can become active members of Cochrane with rights to vote in our Governing Board elections. Finally, translators can have free access to Cochrane Interactive Learning modules, giving them the chance to develop their knowledge of Cochrane Reviews and methodology.

Do you still have a question?

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