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This afternoon while I was using OVID to search for recent articles on "nutrition AND stroke", I retrieved several interesting articles on vitamin supplementation and cognitive function recently published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR). Through my workplace, I have access to many high-quality information resources, including the Cochrane Library. But I'm in the fortunate minority. Recently I received an email asking me to encourage people to sign a petition supporting a National License to The Cochrane Library so all Canadians have free access. Here is the background information and link to the petition.
When you have a question about a medical treatment do you know where to go for reliable, non-promotional information? The Cochrane Collaboration is a not-for-profit international organization that produces summaries of such information. Over 3000 Cochrane reviews about the effects of health care treatments are published in the online Cochrane Library. These reviews are the collaborative effort of thousands of researchers worldwide who believe patients, health professionals and health managers should have access to the summaries of best quality research available.
Research abstracts and short plain language summaries of Cochrane reviews are available to everyone for free. However, summaries of results may omit details such as the actual patient group studied, the types of treatment used and the specifics of side effects.
Unfortunately in Canada, only citizens of Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have access to the full Cochrane Library. Many other countries such as Australia, England, Finland, India, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden have purchased a license to The Cochrane Library so that all their citizens have complete free access.
The Canadian Cochrane Centre (www.ccnc.cochrane.org) is lobbying federal and provincial governments to support national access to The Cochrane Library. If you support this initiative or would like more information, please visit our e-petition at http://nlccl.epetitions.net. Let's give all of Canada access at one click!