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Embase at UAB Libraries: Search Forms

Search Forms

Embase has nine search forms: QuickPICO, PV Wizard, Advanced, Drug, Disease, Device, Article and AuthorsThe Advanced, Drug, Disease and Device search forms are designed alike. Each of these forms contain a search box, mapping options, and the ability to limit by date, sources, fields, evidence based medicine, language, publication type, gender, age, human/animal.

Getting started in Embase.

This video Getting Started, and the handouts that follow, will help you decide which search form to use.

Use the 'Advanced' search form for non-drug or disease searches.

With Advanced Search you can use command-line search syntax and/or the mapping and limit options to set up a more complex search than allowed with the Quick form. The Advanced form lets you map to Emtree terms, and contains options to limit your search by date, source (Embase or MEDLINE), field label, evidence based medicine, publication types, language, gender, age, human/animal. The video below shows how to build a search using Emtree and the Advanced search form. The handouts below the video give more information on field labels and the EBM option.

Searching for Medical Devices.

Device Search has the options Device fields and Device subheadings which contain limits that apply to medical devices, like adverse event information and information about other manufacturers' products. You may add field codes to your search such as device trade name or manufacturer. 

The video Medical Devices shows you how to find new devices, how to find and compare groups of devices, and how to track devices on the market.

Use the 'Quick' search form to get an overview of the literature.

Embase opens on the Quick Search form; this is a good starting point when new to Embase. You can add multiple search lines and restrict them to specific fields. As you enter words and phrases, autocomplete suggests Emtree thesaurus terms and displays numbers of results.

To search for a phrase, be sure to use single or double quotes around the phrase. It doesn't matter which you use, as long as they match: 'thyroid disease' or "thyroid disease". You can also use hyphens to indicate a phrase: thyroid-disease. If quotes are omitted, the words are processed with the boolean operator AND, which can result in a large quantity of irrelevant results: thyroid AND disease. Quotes are entered for you if you click on an Emtree term via autocomplete.

Using the 'Drug' and 'Disease' search forms.

Using the Drug Search form you can create advanced searches specific to drugs and their effects. The Drug search form includes filters specific to drug behavior and route of administration as well field codes for drug names and manufacturers. The Disease Search form includes filters specific for the origin and treatment of diseases.

Using the 'PICO' search form.

Use the PICO Search form to search by patient/population/problem, intervention/exposure/diagnostic test, comparison, and outcome in Embase. You can browse Emtree within this search form, and apply Emtree terms, along with synonyms, to each of the different elements in the PICO framework.

Use 'Article Search' to find a specific reference.

Type whatever information you have in fields on the Article Search form. If Embase cannot identify a citation based on your input, it will retrieve a list of the best-matching records.

What does it mean to 'search as broadly as possible'?

The 'search as broadly as possible' option is checked by default in the Advanced search form. You can uncheck it at any time. When it is checked, Embase broadens your search by performing these three functions simultaneously:

  • Mapping: Embase maps (automatically matches) a word or phrase to its corresponding Emtree thesaurus term and then searches for this term in all the index fields.
  • Explosion: If an Emtree term has more specific (narrower) index terms, Embase automatically searches these terms.
  • Keyword search: All of the words and phrases are searched as entered in every field.

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