Try the new Cochrane PICO search BETA on the Cochrane Library

PICO searching with enriched metadata in Cochrane Library – a community discussion

Cochrane invites Cochrane Library users to a webinar workshop on Cochrane PICO search – Cochrane’s new BETA discovery tool for finding reviews on the Cochrane Library. In the webinar workshop, we will offer a brief introduction to PICO search BETA and then work through a number of searches, gathering feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the search tool. The webinar workshop will take place 13:00-14:00 GMT Monday 9 December. If you would like to join, please contact Roger Tritton at

Released to coincide with the Santiago Cochrane Colloquium, Cochrane PICO search BETA can help you find the most relevant Cochrane evidence to answer your research or clinical question.

What is the Cochrane PICO search BETA?

Cochrane PICO search BETA can help you find the most relevant Cochrane evidence to answer your research or clinical question

With Cochrane PICO search BETA, you can search over 4,500 Cochrane intervention reviews published since 2015 by

  • Population (or Patient or Problem) What are the characteristics of the patient or population – for example condition?
  •  Intervention What is the intervention under consideration for this patient or population – for example a drug or surgical intervention?
  • Comparison What is the alternative to the intervention ­– for example a different drug or a placebo?
  • Outcome What are the relevant outcomes – for example quality of life or adverse events?

How does Cochrane PICO search BETA  work?

Cochrane's Information Specialists and other experts have described the “PICO” components in our reviews using controlled vocabulary terms.

PICO search BETA allows you to use these PICO terms to find the reviews most relevant to your healthcare question. In particular, it allows you to find reviews in which a term is used as a Population, Intervention, Comparison, or Outcome specifically. For example, the term "Diabetes Mellitus" is cited in Cochrane Reviews in some cases as a Population term, and in some other cases as an Outcome term. PICO search BETA  allows you to search specifically on the PICO context that's of interest to you.

PICO search BETA in the Cochrane Library

To find the evidence you need with PICO search BETA  on the Cochrane Library, you can:

  • View PICO vocabulary terms by selecting to Show PICOs BETA in the Cochrane Library search results.
  • Build searches with PICO vocabulary terms in the Cochrane Library Advanced Search by using the new PICO search BETA tab. See

Why use PICO search BETA

Use PICO search BETA to:

  • Find reviews that answer your questions FAST
  • Discover the full range of:
    • Interventions assessed for a population
    • Populations associated with an intervention
    • Outcomes evaluated for an intervention
  • Learn about new topic areas by exploring PICO terms
  • Develop search skills by building PICO questions
  • Release the full potential of Cochrane Reviews

PICO search BETA is a trial initiative

Cochrane PICO search BETA  is made available in the Cochrane Library as a pre-release for large-scale testing. Our aim is to learn from this Beta to prioritize future developments and enhancements of PICO search.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019