Skip to Main Content

Embase at UAB Libraries: Browse Emtree, Authors, Journals

What is Emtree?

Emtree is Elsevier's thesaurus for biomedicine and related life sciences. All Embase articles are indexed in-depth using this hierarchically structured, controlled vocabulary. Emtree is updated three times a year: January, May and September. Emtree contains:

Browse Authors

To browse authors, open Authors from the Browse dropdown menu. Do not use quotes when entering names. When entering a name with more than one initial, use periods between the initials (do not add extra spaces). If you are unsure of the spelling, enter a name fragment:

You may also search for authors using the Article Search form, or by entering the following formats on the Quick or Advanced Search forms:

'geis s':au 
'geis s.b.':au

When entering a name with more than one initial, insert a period (or space) after each initial. If you are unsure of the initials, use a shorter form. 'Smith J' will retrieve 'Smith J' as well as 'Smith J.T.'

Browse Journals

To browse journals, open Journals from the Browse dropdown menu. You can view a list of titles and browse through individual volumes, issues and tables of contents. Click about to view publisher, frequency, ISSN, etc.


To search using specific journal titles, you can enter the full journal title on the Article Search form, or enter one of these formats in the Quick or Advanced forms:

'american heart journal'/jt
'am heart j'/ta

jt = journal title
ta = title abbreviation


Advanced Searching with Emtree

Open Emtree from the Browse dropdown menu at the top right of any Embase page:






  There are three options for searching in Emtree

Find TermBrowse by Facet and Query Builder. Use Find Term to identify correct Emtree terms, related terms, and synonyms. Enter your term or phrase without quotation marks, wildcards or boolean operators. 




Use Query Builder to create complex search statements:


Browse by Facet displays the top levels, or facets, of the Emtree subject hierarchy. Each facet represents a broad category.

Emtree terms are grouped in hierarchical trees, so you can look at any level of a tree to see broader or narrower (more specific) subjects. This is helpful for understanding how subjects relate to one another. Some terms have more than one logical context within Emtree. In this case, a tree for each context will be shown. For example, brain injury appears in Emtree under nervous system injury as well as within the trees for head injury and brain disease. Narrower terms remain identical to ensure consistency.


Add /syn (for synonyms) to an Emtree term to search the exploded term as well as all the synonyms listed. This retrieves even more results than ticking the 'search as broadly as possible' box (available on the Quick, Advanced, Drug, Disease, Device search forms):

© UAB Libraries ι University of Alabama at Birmingham ι About Us ι Contact Us ι Disclaimer