|Update on Library Services||
When doing a literature search, it sometimes becomes necessary to use tools other than MEDLINE to find the right articles. The library offers a large number of databases to help expand your search beyond the normal MEDLINE results. One of these databases is EMBASE, an international biomedical database produced by Elsevier. EMBASE contains over 18 million bibliographic records from 1974 to the present with new content added daily. EMBASE contains over 11 million EMBASE records and 7 million unique MEDLINE records. By searching a topic in EMBASE, you will be retrieving journal articles from both indexes. EMBASE indexes the content of over 7,000 journals from 70 countries.
EMBASE covers a wide array of biomedical topics. It specializes in the coverage of drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, pharmacy, side effects and interactions, toxicology, and medical devices. In addition to these specialties, EMBASE also covers the fields of:
Indexers at EMBASE use a thesaurus called EMTREE to index articles. EMTREE is similar to MeSH, the thesaurus used by the MEDLINE indexers. However, there are some significant differences between the two vocabularies. EMTREE uses natural language terminology rather than the inverted terms used in MeSH. EMTREE uses 50,000 preferred terms and over 200,000 synonyms so that searches can be communicated effectively. All MeSH terms are part of the EMTREE thesaurus. As in the MeSH database, terms used in EMTREE are arranged hierarchically allowing searches which contain the entered term and all more specific terms.
To begin searching EMBASE, choose “Electronic Resources” under the “Databases” heading on the Library web page www.lsusd.lsuhsc.edu/libr. The databases available through the LSUHSC-NO Libraries are arranged alphabetically, so choose “E” and then EMBASE.com either on campus or off campus depending on where you are located.
The beginning search screen opens to a “Quick Search” option. You can begin entering your search terms right then if you would like. There are options listed along the left side of the screen to create a more specific search. Advanced Search allows for more limits to a search. It will also allow the user to specify if the search results will be from both EMBASE and MEDLINE or from EMBASE only. The Field Search allows the user to specify where EMBASE should look for the search terms. For example, searches can be limited to the article title, device name, device manufacturer, drug name, or drug manufacturer. A Drug Search can be limited to factors such as adverse reactions, interactions, or routes of administration. A Disease Search can be limited to such subheadings as etiology, epidemiology, complications, or therapy. Finally, an Article Search allows the user to fill in as much or as little as is know about the article and EMBASE will attempt to match these fields to find the article.
The results screen lists exactly what EMBASE translated the search into and gives the total number of results. The citations for the articles are listed below. Clicking on the hyperlinked article title will bring up the abstract and other information for the article. Even though there may be a note that the article is available online, it may not be free unless the library has paid for access. The definitive list of online journals can be found by searching the library catalog http://innopac.lsuhsc.edu for the journal title and then clicking on the links in the record.
Here is an example of a search done in EMBASE using the term Dental Caries. Below, it will be compared to a search done in PubMed using the same term.
Because of variations in topics and specialties, the results of the two searches and the amount of articles retrieved are very different. The difference in scope is immediately apparent to the searcher. The PubMed results are clinically oriented and from journals that are more likely to be found in a health sciences library. The EMBASE results are more scientifically and research oriented and from journals that less readily available. In conclusion, EMBASE would be a good database to use to supplement a PubMed search to give a researcher a different perspective on the subject. It would also be a good place to look for topics that are not well covered by PubMed.