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Graduate Nursing Students: Searching Embase

Databases, tutorials, and websites for Graduate Nursing Students

What is Embase?

  • Embase is a biomedical database published by Elsevier. 
  • Embase includes journals indexed in Medline plus other journals. More information about what is included in Embase can be found here, 
  • Coverage of  areas will differ between Embase and Medlne. For example, coverage of drugs and medical devices is more extensive in Embase, coverage of Nursing and Veterinary Medicine is more extensive in Medline.
  • It is helpful to search both Medline and Embase for a more comprehesive/systematic search particularly for pharmacy, drug, and medical device related topics.
  • Embase uses subject headings called Emtree terms, rather than the Mesh terms used by Medline.

General Tips

  1. Embase can be searched using the general search box on the home page.
  2. When entering search terms, Embase will suggest Emtree terms. You can click on any of the suggested terms to add them to your search. 
  3. You can also add additional search boxes by clicking Add field.
  4. After searching, you can limit the number of results by using filters. See the box below labeled "Limiting Results" for more information.

Using the PICO Search

  1. The PICO search can help you build a more comprehensive search using both Emtree terms and synonyms.
  2. Click on PICO (upper left of the home page) to begin. 
  3. Note your search concepts do not have to actually be PICO elements (population, intervention, etc). Just put one unique concept per box. You can use as many or as few boxes as needed.
  4. When you enter a concept, you will get suggesitions, choose the most relevant term.
  5. After you choose a term, look on the right side of the page to see where that term falls in the Emtree hierarchy. Check to see if you should include a narrower or broader term or if there are other terms you should include. 
  6. Also after you enter a term, you will get a button with 'Add # synonyms'. Click on 'Add # synonyms' to see what the suggested synonyms are (they will appear on the right side of the page). You can choose to search with all the synonyms, with selected synonyms, or with no synonyms.
  7. Repeat these steps for each concept in your search, then click 'Show # results'.
  8. See the box labeled "Limiting Results" for ways to apply filters.

Limiting Results

  • Filters appear at the top and on the left of the page.
  • Date and language are available only on the top list. Age and Gender are available on both top and left.
  • Quick Limits (top) allows you to limit to Humans or Animals and English.
  • EBM (top) allows you to limit to systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and/or randomized controlled trials.
  • Filters only on the left include Drugs, Diseases, Devices, Publication Type, Drug and Device Manufacturers.

Full Text

  • Links to find full text appear under each citation.
  • Try 'View Full Text' first. 
  • If 'View Full Text' does not work or asks you for money, then click on the Full Text Finder image Full text and follow the instructions.

Health Sciences LIbrarian

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