Always doubting about when to use Medline, PubMed or Embase? Below the differences are explained so you can decide when to use which medical database.

 

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Medline is:

  • A subset of PubMed which dates back to 1967
  • Contains approx 18 million records from 5, 000 mainly US journals
  • Subject coverage = medical & biomedical sciences

use Medline:

  • For guided MeSH subject searching
  • For extensive medical subheadings and other search limiting options
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PubMed is:

  • the Online version of Index Medicus produced by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM), which is freely available on the Internet, and which dates back to 1966 and selectively to 1809
  • Contains over 22 million records
  • Subject coverage = medical, biomedical & life sciences

In addition to Medline, Pubmed contains:

  • ‘in process’ citations
  • some older citations
  • citations to non-medical journals
  • citations to ebooks
  • Subject coverage = medical, biomedical & life sciences.

Use PubMed:

  • For easy keyword searching (automatically maps to MeSH)
  • For clinical queries
  • For genetics topics
  • To be offered related citations and links to systematic reviews citing a study
[/toggle] [toggle title_open=”What is Embase?” title_closed=”What is Embase?” hide=”yes” border=”yes” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”] 

Embase:

  • Includes all of Medline plus over 2, 000 extra titles (including more EU journals) and 260, 000 conference abstracts and dates back to 1947 and selectively to 1902
  • Contains over 24 million records from more than 7, 500 journals
  • Subject coverage = medical & biomedical sciences + drug & pharmacy

Use Embase:

  • For guided Emtree subject searching (including MeSH)
  • For great basic, natural language search
  • For drug/pharmacy topics (coverage plus subheading options)
  • To pick up recent articles & conference papers & EU journals
  • For extensive search limiting options
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