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Research Tips: What's the difference between PubMed, Medline & Embase?

Research tips, support, strategies and FAQs

What's the difference between PubMed, Medline & Embase?

What is PubMed? What is Medline? What is Embase?
  • Online version of Index Medicus produced by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM).
  • Freely available on the Internet.

 

  • A subset of PubMed (actually about 98%) made available by NLM to commercial suppliers.
  • Available by subscription through a number of interfaces. At KEMH we have the OVID interface.
  • An Elsevier database.
  • Available by subscription through a number of interfaces. At KEMH we have the OVID interface.
Coverage of PubMed Coverage of Medline Coverage of Embase
  • Back to 1966 and selectively to 1809.
  • Contains over 25 million records. In addition to Medline, Pubmed contains:              
  1. 'in process' citations
  2. some older citations
  3. citations to non-medical journals
  4. citations to ebooks
  • Some free full text (PubMed Central) & 'Find it @ WNHS' links if accessed through library
  • Subject coverage = medical, biomedical & life sciences.
  • Back to 1946.
  • Contains over 22 million records from 5, 600 mainly US journals.
  • Some full text and 'Find it @ WNHS' links.
  • Subject coverage = medical & biomedical sciences.
  • Back to 1947 and selectively to 1902.
  • Contains over 29 million records from more than 8, 500 journals from at least 90 countries.
  • Includes all of Medline plus over 2, 000 extra titles (including more EU journals) and 260, 000 conference abstracts.
  • Some full text and 'Find it @ WNHS' links.
  • Subject coverage = Medline + drug & pharmacy journals.
Searching PubMed Searching Medline Searching Embase
  • Easy keyword searching and automatic mapping to MeSH terms.
  • No subheading selection.
  • Results may be limited to reviews and full text. 'Clinical Queries' allows searching for clinical trials, systematic reviews and medical genetics topics
  • Advanced Search offers guided mapping of keywords to MeSH terms
  • Search topics may be limited by selecting subheadings
  • Various limiters, including EBM Reviews and types of clinical query.
  • Advanced Search with guided mapping of keywords to Emtree (MeSH plus synonyms) terms.
  • Basic 'natural language' search with synonym searching & relevance ranking.
  • Subheadings include specific drug-related topics.
  • Extensive limiting options available, including types of EBM, clinical trials & routes of drug administration.
Other Features of PubMed Other Features of Medline Other Features of Embase
  • 'Related citations', including highlighting of review articles.  Link from a particular result to systematic reviews referencing that study. 
  • Register with 'My NCBI' to save searches, set up alerts & customise filters
  • Citations may be exported to EndNote.
  • 'Find Similar' and 'Find Citing Articles'.
  • Register to save searches, create email alerts & RSS feeds.
  • Citations may be exported to EndNote.
  • 'Find Similar' and 'Find Citing Articles'.
  • Register to save searches, create email alerts & RSS feeds.
  • Citations may be exported to EndNote.
Use PubMed: Use Medline: Use Embase:
  • If you are unable to access subscription databases.
  • 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.
  • For guided MeSH subject searching.
  • For extensive medical subheadings and other search limiting options.

 

  • 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.
  • For extensive search limiting options.

 

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