Q. Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials does not have the articles the library claims it does.
You are confusing the Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials with the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; with such similar names, it is easy to do.
Cochrane Registry is "bibliographic," that means it will not have full text. It points to other sources. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews does provide the text of the reviews. A search of "Osteoarthritis" found a current review from November 2011. For the "Register" you will need to find the article in the journal cited. If you click on "Check for Full Text USciences" it will either link you to one of the library's journals or, if you click "ILLiad" it will help you order it through interlibrary loan.
Here is a description of the "Register":
CCTR (formerly Cochrane Controlled Trials Register) is a bibliographic database of definitive controlled trials. . .It is a joint production of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Washington, DC (USA) who produces MEDLINE and Reed Elsevier of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) who produce EMBASE.
CCTR contains over 300,000 bibliographic references to controlled trials in health care together with references to clinical trials identified by contributors to the Cochrane Collaboration in MEDLINE and EMBASE. Contributors follow quality control standards to ensure that only reports of definite randomized controlled trials or controlled clinical trials are included. These controlled trials included were identified by the contributors to the Cochrane Collaboration to create an unbiased source of data for systematic reviews.
Coordinator of Electronic Resources