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Searching Embase: Basic Searches

Created by Health Science Librarians

Search Options in Embase

Embase Search Options bar


  • Quick Search is for performing quick and easy searches using keywords and phrases; simply type in a word or phrase and click "Show # Results."
  • PICO Search is meant to help you create a search based on the PICO framework for evidence-based practice and systematic reviews.
  • PV Wizard is a query builder in Embase that is meant to help you successfully construct pharmacovigilance search strategies.
  • Medical Device Wizard is a stepwise framework for building complex medical device post-market surveillance (PMS) queries. 
  • Advanced Search allows you to limit your search to a more specific set of results. For example, you can limit your search to a particular range of years or focus your search on particular subject ages. 
  • Drug Search has the option "Drug fields," which lists the field codes specific to drug searches, and "Drug subheadings," which contains limits such as "Adverse drug reaction" and "Drug concentration." You can add these subheadings to focus your search on particular aspects of the available drug information. The Drug Search form also has the option "Routes," which contains subheadings for every route of administration for drugs.
  • Disease Search has the option "Disease subheadings," which contains a selection of subheadings that apply to diseases in general. This is not a list of diseases or disease families, but rather a set of terms that most frequently come up in association with disease information searches, such as "Complication," "Disease management," and "Side effect."
  • Device Search has the option "Device fields," which lists the field codes specific to medical device searches, and "Device subheadings," which contain a selection of subheadings that apply to medical devices.
  • Article Search lets you track down specific references by typing in whatever information you have in a number of fields. If Embase cannot identify a citation uniquely based on your input, it will retrieve a list of the best-matching records
  • Authors Search allows you to search for authors by First Name, Last Name, Affiliation, First Name Initials, or ORCID. 

Quick Search

Using Quick Search

annotated quick search page in Embase

A. For broad overview searches, type terms in the Quick Search box. For phrases, use a single or double quote around the phrase.

B. As you type, you’ll see suggested matching terms from Emtree.

C. You can use Boolean operators AND and OR to connect your various search terms. 

D. Add additional search fields with this option.

E. Limit your search by publication years with these options. The default setting searches all years. 

F. Limit your Quick Search to certain record types, like randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews.

G. Click here for more search tips.

Topic Search

Finding a few good good articles on a particular topic can be very easy.

Think about how to state your question as specifically as possible:

  • Is naproxen effective for the treatment of migraine headaches?

Identify the key words in your question:

  • naproxen
  • migraine

Type the key words into the Quick Search box:

  • naproxen AND migraine

Embase searches for these keywords in the article title, abstract and subject headings. It does not search the full text of the article.

Results show up with the most recently published articles first in a summary formatted list. Click on the title for more information about a single article; change your search by adding, editing, or deleting terms in the search box; narrow your search by adding in one or more of the Results Filters along the left side of the results page; or change the Sort By option to view the most relevant articles first, as judged by Embase algorithms.

Advanced Search

Using Advanced Search

Using Advanced Search in Embase

A. Select Advanced on the Embase home screen to open Advanced Search

B. Enter a search word or phrase such as 'cancer gene therapy' 

C. Use the orange bullets to edit Mapping options. The selected options above are the default options in Embase.

D. Use the limiters to the right of Mapping to narrow your search. These limiters include Date, Sources (Embase, MEDLINE, etc.), EBM (Cochrane Review, Systematic Review, etc.), Publication types (article, conference paper, etc.) and more. 

E. Click 'Search' to run your search. 

F. Click on 'Search Tips' for more information and tips on Advanced Searching in Embase. 

Search Results

Working with Your Results

A. You can edit and/or re-run the currently selected search in this field.

B. Your search history for your current session is shown here. Select any search in your history to recall the results. Use the top bar to save, delete, prepare for printing, export, or share via email. Use the bottom options to set an email alert or RSS feed for this search, review the search string or examine the indexing terms.

C. Use the Results Filters to refine the search by selecting sources, drug or device trade names, diseases, subheadings, etc.

D. You can see the number of results that will be returned by applying a given filter. You can export filtered data by clicking Export, which is found at the bottom of each open filter.

E. Select results using the checkboxes in the result line or select the whole set using the checkbox beside Results.

F. Use these options to print or export your selection or send it as an email. You can also add it to your Clipboard.