Skip to Main Content

Embase (English): Home


Embase is one of the most important biomedical databases. It is considered the European counterpart of PubMed.

► Embase and PubMed both search MEDLINE (a leading collection of biomedical articles). This explains the overlay between Embase and PubMed. (See circles below.)
► PubMed also searches journals that have not yet been indexed in MEDLINE. This is not possible with Embase.
► In addition to MEDLINE, Embase searches thousands of other journals that cannot be found through PubMed.

Using Embase

It is recommended to include Embase in your literature search. By searching in combination with CINAHL and PubMed, you will not easily overlook relevant sources. 

You can search in Embase in different ways:

  • Emtree is a standardised thesaurus used to make Embase efficient to search through.
  • Quick Search is used to quickly find a number of relevant articles.
  • PICO is useful to practically search for various building blocks and combine them automatically.
  • PV Wizard is suitable for research on drug safety.
  • Medical device is applicable for searching literature on medical instruments.
  • Advanced: use this option to combine your search terms in different ways.
  • DrugDiseaseDevice are search options to search on these topics. The filter options are matching.

Tip: Sign Up

When using Embase, it is recommended to create an account. By logging into your account, you can always retrieve your search results via Results. Without an account, you can search, but your search history will only be saved for a short time.

Search Plan

Use the following steps when searching for literature in Embase:

  1. Formulate your research question and building blocks: e.g. use the PICO form (see below)
  2. Map out which synonyms you are going to search with: use Emtree
  3. Use the PICO search form (= PICO tool)
  4. Search via Advanced search
  5. From PubMed to Embase

You can also use the additional search options in Embase: Medical deviceDiseaseDevice, etc.

Broad or Quick Search

You can search Embase via the Broad or Quick Search. If you search on an Emtree term, Embase automatically suggests which synonyms you can also use. Adopt these (in part) to search Embase in the most effective way.

Using the pen next to the search bar, you can specify which fields you want to search. For example, search by Title or Abstract, Author name or Drug trade name.

Click Add field (+) to add an additional search rule. You can now immediately choose which fields to search. Also choose whether you want to combine the rules with AND, OR or NOT.

Limit to (V) allows you to narrow your search to certain years or study types.


Marsha Bokhorst
Research Support       

Danny Brassé
Occupational Therapy, 
Speech Therapy


Bas Nieuwenhuijsen
Nursing, Health Innovation

Christina Piovesan
Vocational Therapy

Liesbeth Ramaekers
Advanced Nursing
Practice, Physiotherapy
Biometrics | Disclaimer | Over Zuyd Bibliotheek