Resources for handsearchers

Hand searching 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. Less than a third of the world's medical journals are routinely indexed in the major electronic databases. Most Review Groups, Fields - Networks, and Centres are seeking volunteer hand searchers and will provide the necessary training and support. Hand searching of journals is coordinated by the

Hand searching

Hand-searching activities are co-ordinated at the Editorial Base.

1.The following journals were searched for all RCTs:

  • American Journal of Neuroradiology - USA 1990-2000 
  • Brain - ENG 1984-2000 
  • Epidemiology - USA 1996-2000 
  • Journal of Neuroimaging - USA 1990-2000 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging - USA 1990-2000 
  • Mecosan - ITALY 1992-2000 
  • Medical Sciences Bulletin - ALB 1980-1995 
  • Neurologia, Psichiatria, Scienze umane - ITALY 1988-1998 
  • Neurology and Neurosurgery Works - ALB 1980-1990 
  • A.K.A. Psychoneurological Works 
  • Pharmacoeconomics - ENG 1992-2000

2. Conference Proceedings:

  • American Academy of Neurology Annual Meetings (Neurology 1985-1999) 
  • Meetings of the European Neurological Society (Journal of Neurology 1985-1999)


To avoid duplication of efforts, no journal should be searched until contact has been made with the Editorial Base to establish that it has not already been searched or is in the process of being searched and to register the fact that it is about to be searched. Journals should be hand searched for all controlled trials, regardless of whether they cover subjects within the group's scope or not. Any trials that do not cover subjects within the group's scope will be submitted to the US Cochrane Center Office. 

The Cochrane Collaboration maintains a masterlist of all the journals hand searched throughout the Collaboration. Details can be found at the following web page: http://us.cochrane.org/master-list. 

At present hand searching of journals is suspended but it is planned in the future to recommence some of the Group's hand searching activities.