Searching EMBASE and CINAHL for health librarians


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Further discussion about intracacies of three main biomedical databases

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Searching EMBASE and CINAHL for health librarians

  1. 1. LIBR 534 Module II (BIOMEDICAL DATABASES) Class #7 “Intermediate skill building in searching ….” • Guest speaker: Niki BAUMANN, Librarian, CPSBC • More Medline & Embase (scope, bias, interfaces) • CINAHL on EBSCO (nursing & allied health) ~ Breaks 7pm & 8pm • Announcements • Search examples & practice • Assignment #3 = due Feb 21st • Assignment #4 = due March 7 (will send to you on Mon. Feb 20)
  2. 2. OFFLINE Search Exercise (brainstorm, report back) Is vitamin C effective in treating common cold? (RIGHT SIDE of class facing front) Is aspirin effective in treating migraine headache? (LEFT SIDE class facing front) • FORM groups of two or three colleagues • DEVISE steps together to search for these topics • CONSIDER either Medline OR Embase • REPORT BACK your ideas • ISSUES to consider in building your steps: • Database • Controlled terms • Boolean operators • Limits • Interface
  3. 3. MEDLINE & EMBASE What are some of the features of these two biomedical databases? When would you use them? Do we need both? Why?
  4. 4. Medline – MeSH tree structures Each of the 16 branches or ”trees” are assigned a letter as an identifier A. Anatomy B. Organisms C. Diseases D. Chemical and Drugs E. Analytical, Diagnostic & Therapeutic Techniques, & Equipment F. Psychiatry and Psychology G. Phenomena and Processes H. Disciplines and Occupations I. Anthropology, Education, Sociology and Social Phenomena J. Technology, Industry, Agriculture K. Humanities L. Information Science M. Named Groups N. Health Care O. Publication Characteristics P. Geographic Locations
  5. 5. EMTREE headings – 15 branches or ‘facets’ EMBASE’s preferred terms are organized into a (poly)hierarchical structure 15 branches called facets: A Anatomical concepts B Organism names C Physical diseases, disorders and abnormalities D Chemicals and drugs E Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, equipment and parameters F Psychological and psychiatric phenomena G Biological phenomena and functions H Chemical, physical and mathematical phenomena I Society and environment J Types of article or study K Geographic names L Groups by age and sex M Named groups of persons N Health care concepts Q Biomedical disciplines, science and art
  6. 6. MeSH and EMTREE Commonalities • Both are comprehensive biomedical / life science vocabularies • Similar faceted structure (Emtree modeled on MeSH in 1988) • Both thesauri have broader/narrower terms & use explode/focus • Both have unique elements, levels of detail and subject focus
  7. 7. Medline & Embase – Key facts Embase • International biomedical database produced by Elsevier in Europe • Comprehensive coverage of biomedicine, drugs & pharmacology • Indexed with 60,000 EMTREE terms, over 27,000 drug names • ~26 million records from 1974 - present; indexes 6000 journals • Overlap with Medline • Unique records especially drug titles + European + psychiatric literature Medline • International biomedical database produced by US National Library of Medicine) • Focus on biomedicine incl. nursing, dentistry and veterinary science • Indexed with MeSH with over 27,800 terms • 26 million records from 1940s-present (Old Medline) • 5,700 journals; overlap with Embase depends on the study • Unique records especially in US titles + nursing literature etc.
  8. 8. In searching – why choose Embase? • Subject content, geographic coverage; valuable in drug research • Emtree drug terminology is: • More extensive with extensive synonyms (including trade names) • Route of administration subheadings/qualifiers • Organized in detailed tree structures in polyhierarchy of drug terms • Structured from multiple points of view and use • Best for identifying and searching for new drugs • Emtree includes all MeSH which are linked to EMTREE headings • Usually Embase is used in conjunction with other databases
  9. 9. CINAHL reflects nursing & allied health literature  CINAHL = Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health lit  Indexes ~1200 English language journals, 1981 to present  Updated every month  ~70% of CINAHL headings adopted from MeSH  About 55% unique content specifically for nursing/ allied health  Note in a record how different limits are in CINAHL
  10. 10. MEDLINE, EMBASE & CINAHL • Three-way comparison • How do health librarians recommend one over another? • Context is important – what is the clinical question? • Who is asking? • Health librarians need to know coverage fully • Strengths, weaknesses of each database • Nothing wrong with checking all three places • MANY Medline & Embase citations are searchable on the web • A lot of CINAHL content is not searchable via Google Dean Giustini, UBC biomed librarian