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Embase: Quick search

Quick search

When searching for a topic in Quick search you have a number of different search field options. The default search field in 'Broad search'. To select another click on the pencil icon to the right of the search box.

  • If you want to find a small number of highly relevant articles, consider searching in Title
  • For a more comprehensive topic search use: Title, Abstract, Author keywords
  • All Fields will look for your term in any part of the database record including author and journal name
  • Broad search will give you the widest possible search.  It searches All Fields plus the Emtree index for your term and any subheadings of the term.                        


Using wildcards

The following wildcards can be used in Embase:


For one or more letters - e.g. prescri* retrieves prescribe, prescribed, prescribing, prescription.


For single-letter truncation - e.g. sulf?nyl retrieves 'sulfonyl' or 'sulfinyl'


For 0/1 character - e.g. group$ retrieves group or groups but not grouping.

Phrase searching

Embase allows you to specify that your search terms must be next to each other in a particular order. You can do this using single or double quotes or a hyphen.  For example to find the phrase prescription drugs, any of these will work:

  • 'prescription drugs'
  • "prescription drugs"
  • prescription-drugs

But beware - if you do this you will exclude the phrase drugs available on prescription.

Proximity operators

In addition to the usual Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT, you can use proximity operators in Embase. They allow you to specify how closely together your keywords should be. The theory is that if your keywords are close together, the results you find are more likely to be relevant. It also gets around the problem with phrase searching where the words have to be in a particular order.

Screeenshot showing NEAR and NEXT proximity operators