Embase: comparison with PubMed and tips & tricks for searching

Embase is regarded as the European equivalent of PubMed/MEDLINE. When using the Embase search engine, you automatically browse not only the Embase database but also articles in PubMed/MEDLINE that have already been assigned MeSH terms.


Embase is only accessible via the UGent network.

Search operators

Embase can be searched using free text and/or with Emtree terms, the controlled vocabulary in the Embase thesaurus. These Emtree terms can be found via the Emtree section. You can also look at the hierarchical structure of the keywords there. All underlying terms are automatically included (Explosion), but you can also switch off this option in Advanced Search.

To search for an exact word combination, single or double quotes or hyphens can be used to keep words together, e.g. ‘cardiovascular disease’ or "cardiovascular disease" or cardiovascular-disease.

For more information about advanced searching, the PICO search, the PV (Pharmacovigilance) search the Medical Device search, the drug search, the disease search, the device search and the search filters, visit the information sheet about Embase on the website of the Knowledge Center for Health Ghent.

Export references

Use the Export button from Embase to export either a few selected search results or all your search results to your personal EndNote library. Then click on "Export" again and then "Download". (You need to create a free account and to login to export more than 500 records at once.) 

More information

Visit the Embase information sheet on the website of the Knowledge Center for Health Ghent for more information about the reasons to search in Embase, how to search in Embase and trainings about basic and advanced searching in Embase. 


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Last modified Nov. 13, 2023, 1:21 p.m.