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January 26, 2012

How to Cite Cochrane Reviews in APA Style

by Jeff Hume-Pratuch

JeffDear Style Experts,

How should I format a reference for an article from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews? I have the names of the authors, the date and the title of the topic; however, there is no journal as such. Do I use "retrieved from" with the URL, or should I include the DOI?


Dear A.,

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews consists of original material written by members of the Cochrane Collaboration. Its articles may be published in database form, but it functions like an online journal: Numbered issues are published 12 times a year, and each article has its own DOI. Therefore, we can modify the journal article format to fit a Cochrane Review, as follows:

Singh, J., Kour, K., & Jayaram Mahesh, B. (2012). Acetylcholinesterase 
inhibitors for schizophrenia. Cochrane Database of Systematic
Reviews, 2012
(1), 1–101. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007967.pub2

Note that the year of publication does double duty as the volume number. The issue number is needed because the journal is not continuously paginated. And because we have a DOI, neither the URL nor the Cochrane-assigned ID number is needed.

Hope this helps,



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