Has Embase replaced MEDLINE since coverage expansion?
Keywords:Bibliographic Databases, Embase, MEDLINE, PubMed, Database Usage, Research, Library Research, Research Method, Academic Medicine
Objectives: The research tested the authors’ hypothesis that more researchers from the academic medicine community in the United States and Canada with institutional access to Embase had started using Embase to replace MEDLINE since Embase was expanded in 2010 to cover all MEDLINE records.
Methods: We contacted libraries of 140 and 17 medical schools in the United States and Canada, respectively, to confirm their subscriptions to Embase 5 years before and 5 years after 2010. We searched the names of institutions with confirmed Embase access in Ovid MEDLINE and Embase to retrieve works authored by affiliates of those institutions. We then examined 100 randomly selected records from each of the 5 years before and 5 years after the Embase coverage expansion in 2010. We hypothesized that studies that used Embase but not MEDLINE would increase due to the Embase coverage expansion.
Results: The number of studies that used Embase but not MEDLINE did not change between the pre-2010 and post-2010 periods.Conclusion: Our hypothesis was refuted. Studies that used Embase but not MEDLINE did not increase post-2010. Our results suggest the academic medicine community in the United States and Canada that had access did not use Embase to replace MEDLINE, despite the Embase coverage expansion.
Röhrig B, Prel JBd, Wachtlin D, Blettner M. Types of study in medical research. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009 Apr;106(15):262–8.
Blanken RR, Vinken PJ. Medical databases: Medline vs. Excerpta Medica. Inf Serv Use. 2001 Apr;21(2):87–97.
Lam MT, McDiarmid M. Increasing number of databases searched in systematic reviews and meta-analyses between 1994 and 2014. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016 Oct;104(4):284–9. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.104.4.006.
US National Library of Medicine. Key MEDLINE indicators [Internet]. Washington, DC: National Institutes of Health; 2016 [cited 26 Jan 2018]. <https://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/bsd_key.html>.
US National Library of Medicine. Fact sheet: MEDLINE [Internet]. Washington, DC: National Institutes of Health; 2016 [cited 26 Jan 2018]. <https://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/medline.html>.
Cappell MS. Major bibliographic errors in PubMed: personal experience among 240 publications and proposed remediation process for errors. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016 Jan;104(1):83–4. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.104.1.015.
Dunikowski LG. EMBASE and MEDLINE searches. Can Fam Physician. 2005 Sep;51:1191.
Sampson M, Barrowman NJ, Moher D, Klassen TP, Pham B, Platt R, St John PD, Viola R, Raina P. Should meta-analysts search Embase in addition to Medline? J Clin Epidemiol. 2003 Oct;56(10):943–55.
Tatsioni A, Ioannidis J, Schmid C, Lau S. Contributions of EMBASE search in meta-analysis of diagnostic studies [abstract]. 12th Cochrane Colloquium: Bridging the Gaps; Ottawa, ON, Canada; 2004. p. 194–5.
Higgins JPT, Green S. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions [Internet]. Version 5.2. Cochrane Collaboration; 2017 [cited 26 Jan 2018]. <http://training.cochrane.org/handbook>.
US National Library of Medicine. 2015 MEDLINE®/PubMed® baseline distribution [Internet]. Washington, DC: National Institutes of Health; 2015 [cited 26 Jan 2018]. <https://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/licensee/2015_stats/baseline_doc.html>.
Elsevier. Embase indexing guide 2015: a comprehensive guide to Embase indexing policy [Internet]. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier; 2015 [cited 26 Jan 2018]. <https://www.elsevier.com/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/92104/Embase-indexing-guide-2015.pdf>.
Brown CM. The benefits of searching EMBASE versus MEDLINE for pharmaceutical information. Online CD-ROM Rev. 1998;22(1):3–8.
Mogig ZD. EMBASE, the Excerpta Medica databases: quick and comprehensive drug information. Bibliotheca Medica Canadiana. 1995;16(4):152–4.
Houghton B, Webster VAD, Smith J. A comparison of Excerpta Medica and Medline for the provision of drug information to health care professionals. Sixth International Online Information Meeting London; 7–9 Dec 1982. Oxford, UK: Learned Information; 1982 p. 115–7s.
Boehm K, Raak C, Vollmar HC, Ostermann T. An overview of 45 published database resources for complementary and alternative medicine. Health Inf Libr J. 2010 Jun;27(2):93–105.
Bahaadinbeigy K, Yogesan K, Wootton R. MEDLINE versus EMBASE and CINAHL for telemedicine searches. Telemed J E Health. 2010 Oct;16(8):916–9.
McDonald S, Taylor L, Adams C. Searching the right database. a comparison of four databases for psychiatry journals. Health Libr Rev. 1999 Sep;16(3):151–6.
Wilczynski NL, Haynes RB. Optimal search strategies for detecting clinically sound prognostic studies in EMBASE: an analytic survey. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2005 Jul–Aug;12(4):481–5.
Lorenzetti DL, Topfer LA, Dennett L, Clement F. Value of databases other than MEDLINE for rapid health technology assessments. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2014 Apr;30(2):173–8.
Highbeam Research. EMBASE: a healthy MEDLINE alternative? Searcher. 1996;4:23.
Smith BJ, Darzins PJ, Quinn M, Heller RF. Modern methods of searching the medical literature. Med J Aust. 1992 Nov 2;157(9):603–11.
Yonker VA, Young KP, Beecham SK, Horwitz S, Cousin K. Coverage and overlaps in bibliographic databases relevant to forensic medicine: a comparative analysis of MEDLINE. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1990 Jan;78(1):49–56.
Elsevier Science. FAQs: how does Embase cover MEDLINE content [Internet]. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier; 2017 [cited 26 Jan 2018]. <https://www.elsevier.com/solutions/embase-biomedical-research/learn-and-support>.
Higgins JPT, Green S. Cochrane handbook for systematic reviews of interventions: MEDLINE and EMBASE [Internet]. Version 5.1.0: part 2: 220.127.116.11. Cochrane Collaboration; 2011 [10 Apr 2017; cited 26 Jan 2018]. <http://handbook-5-1.cochrane.org/>.
Belbenoit-Avich P. Comparing the main biomedical bibliographic databases. Inf Manag Rep. 1992;Jul:1–5.
Dallal GE. Welcome to Randomization.com!!! [Internet]. Randomization.com; 2013 [cited 26 Jan 2018]. <http://randomization.com>.
Glanville J, Kaunelis D, Mensinkai S, Picheca L. Pruning Emtree: does focusing Embase subject headings impact search strategy precision and sensitivity? Ottawa, ON, Canada: Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health; 2015.
Duffy S, de Kock S, Misso K, Noake C, Ross J, Stirk L. Supplementary searches of PubMed to improve currency of MEDLINE and MEDLINE In-Process searches via Ovid. J Med Libr Assoc. 2016 Oct;104(4):309–12. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.104.4.011.
US National Library of Medicine. Fact sheet: MEDLINE, PubMed, and PMC (PubMed Central): how are they different? [Internet]. MD: Bethesda: National Institutes of Health; 2017 [cited 26 Jan 2018]. <https://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/dif_med_pub.html>.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.