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Embase Basics

This guide provides basic information about using the Embase online database.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should I register for Embase?

You don't need to create an account to use most of Embase's features. However, if you do register, you will be able to save searches and create email alerts and RSS feeds.

2. There are so many searching options. Where do I start? 

Browsing Emtree around one or more of your main search concepts is usually a good place to start. By looking at related terms that are both broader and more specific, you may gain a better understanding of your topic's scope. Then, you will likely move to Quick Search. Many research needs can be satisfied just by using Quick Search and its associated filters and limits. If your search is specialized or complex, consider utilizing one of Embase's other search options, like Advanced Search or the PICO search tool. 

3. I'm used to Medline or PubMed. How is Emtree different from MeSH?

Emtree was modeled after MeSH, so the two controlled vocabularies are similar in structure. Emtree contains more terms and synonyms, is updated more frequently, does not utilize scope notes, and contains more specialized terms. A full comparison between MeSH and Emtree is available here

4. How is Embase indexed?

Most Embase records are manually indexed by experts. In-process and in press records, along with conference abstracts, are automatically indexed. Some records from MedLine are pre-indexed with MeSH terms, which are correlated to Emtree terms.

5. Does Embase offer any webinars or video tutorials? 

Yes, both are available. A number of video tutorials on basic aspects of Embase use are available for download here, while webinars covering many aspects of Embase use ranging from getting started to conducting specialized search types are available here.

6. Can I get assistance from a librarian in using Embase? 

Yes! Please visit this page for research assistance in the health sciences and STEM fields.