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Medical Database Guides: EMBASE

Advanced Search in EMBASE (Ovid)

Access EMBASE:

From the A-Z Databases list on the Library homepage, select EMBASE.


Embase (Excerpta Medica dataBASE) is a comprehensive biomedical and pharmacological database of drug, disease and device information including 32 million+ records indexed from over 8,500 indexed peer-reviewed journals.

Searching EMBASE

View steps to search EMBASE by clicking on the links below.

Advanced Search 

The Advanced Search screen offers more ways to search by abstract, titles, keywords ,etc. and offers Subject Heading mapping.

Search with keywords

Step 1. Type your search term in the text box. You can indicate the search field to search for your search term(s). Here are some of the main options:

Type .tw.  after your search term(s) e.g. dupixent .tw. This will search for the title (TI), abstract (AB) and the drug trade name (TN).

Type .ti. after your search term(s) e.g. dupixent .ti. This will search for references where your words appear in the title (TI) only. 

Type .ab. after your search term(s) e.g. dupixent .ab. This will search for references where your words appear in the abstract (AB) only

Type .ti,ab. after your search term(s) e.g. dupixent .ti,ab. This will search for references where your words appear in the title (TI) or abstract (AB).

Step 2. 

  • The box Map Term to Subject Heading is checked by default. Your search term will be mapped to the Subject Heading if you do not specify a particular search field to search (as in Step 1).
  • If you uncheck the box Map Term to Subject Heading and do not specify a particular search field to search, the default search setting would be ‘multi-purpose’ (.mp.) field, which looks in title, abstract, subject headings, heading word, drug trade name, original title, device manufacturer, drug manufacturer, device trade name, keyword.

Search with EMTREE Subject Headings Mapping

If an EMTREE Subject Headings can be mapped for your search term, a list of Subject Headings is shown.

Step 3.  Select the relevant Subject Heading(s) to search.

Step 4.  Check Explode if you want to include the selected MeSH term and all of its more specific terms (narrower MeSH) in the search.

Step 5.  Check Focus if you want to limit your search to those articles in which the subject heading is considered as the major point of the article.

Step 6.  If more than one Subject Heading is selected, choose AND, OR for your Boolean operator and press Continue

Step 7.  Select Subheadings of the MeSH if you want to focus on specific aspects of the MeSH heading that are pertinent to the article. If not, press Continue to add the MeSH to your search.


Combine & Limit Searches

Step 8. Check the boxes to combine search strategies.

Step 9. Combine the selected searches using  AND / OR Boolean operators.

You can limit or filter your search results in various ways. These may include:

  • language
  • type of publication (case study, clinical trials, review articles, systematic review, meta-analysis)
  • sex
  • human or animal
  • age groups
  • date published
  • peer-reviewed

Step 10. You can directly limit your search results by selecting directly at the box and press Search

Step 11. Press the Additional Limits button for more limiting options such as Evidence Based Medicine.

View Full Text & Output Results

Step 1. Click the abstract view icon to include the abstract of the article at the search results. 

Step 2. Full text may be available as PDF for some article records.

Step 3. For those records without full text provided, press the Findit@CUHK Library button or click the Full Text link to search for full text.

Step 4. Press the icons to email, save record(s) to folder or export records to citation management tools, e.g. EndNote

Save search & run saved search

Step 1. Once you have constructed your search, select Save All button underneath your search history. You will be prompted to login/register an account with Ovid.  

Step 2. Give your search a name. You can also use the comment field for adding any extra notes about the search. The default setting of your search is Permanent (which means it is saved permanently). You can choose to make your search Temporary (i.e. save for 168 hours). You can also set up auto alert for your search by selecting the AutoAlert (SDI) option. Then it will prompt you to choose how frequently you wish to receive the results alert, and the delivery options (Email, RSS or in My Projects). 

Click the Save button to save the setting.

To run your saved search, select View Saved button, at the top right hand corner of the page.

Step 1. Select the saved search you want to run.

Step 2. Select Run