Scientific findings are decisive in practice. In order to treat their patients based on the most recent data available – in the sense of evidence-based medicine, active physicians should have access to quality information. However, despite the success of the Open Access initiative, the majority of current medical literature relies on the paywall model. With the support of swissuniversities, the SAMS has promoted the renewal of the national licence for the Cochrane Library until 2024.
Since 2016, the Cochrane Library has been made accessible free of charge to professionals, but also to anyone in Switzerland who wishes to obtain reliable information in order to make informed decisions about their health.
The Cochrane network consists of around 12 000 people active in more than 130 countries. For over 25 years, they have been working together to produce systematic reviews without any commercial funding. The latter summarize research findings in the field of medical care and serve as a reliable basis for evidence-based medicine. Cochrane Reviews are internationally recognized as the benchmark for high-quality information about the effectiveness of health care and reflect the current state of knowledge.
The national licence is financed by the SAMS, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), the Swiss Medical Association (FMH) as well as university libraries (Basel, Bern, Genève, ETHZ, Lausanne, Luzern, Zürich) and several hospitals (Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Kantonsspital Winterthur, Schweizer Paraplegiker-Zentrum Nottwil, Solothurner Spitäler).
Access to Cochrane Library (for health professionals)
Access to Cochrane «Our evidence» (for the public)
Access to the Cochrane Consumer Network (for the public)
National provision for the Cochrane Library: agreement 2021-2024
Commission «Biomedizinische Bibliotheken» (in German or French)
Cochrane Crowd: Become a Cochrane citizen scientist
Through its Cochrane Crowd project, Cochrane encourages anyone interested in science and research to contribute to its collection of systematic reviews. Citizen scientists are invited to identify studies that may be relevant for future Cochrane systematic reviews, learning to distinguish and identify randomised controlled trials from other types of studies. No expertise is required to participate in Cochrane Crowd, other than curiosity and a solid understanding of English. Join the community of more than 20 000 people around the world who have been tempted by the experience.
The promotion of citizen science is one of the objectives of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences for the period 2021 to 2024.