Both are prominent medical literature databases that help researchers, healthcare professionals, and students in the fields of medicine, life sciences, and related disciplines. While they share some similarities, they differ in terms of their scope, coverage, and usability.
PubMed, from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) in the US, is a free medical database. The KU Medical Library offers a version with links to full text: PubMed@KU. It is a comprehensive source for peer-reviewed research, clinical studies, and medical literature. It includes specialized and advanced search features, such as its Medical Subject Headings (MeSH). You can find a more detailed overview from the KU Medical Library of just PubMed at library.ku.ac.ae/pubmed.
Embase is a medical literature database with a bit of a more specialized focus. It includes coverage of pharmaceutical and pharmacological research, drug-related information, drug safety, and pharmacovigilance. It also includes specialized search related to the PICO framework, medical devices, and diseases. It offers its own set of subject terms, Emtree, that play the same role that MeSH does in PubMed. There is an overview of Embase from the KU Medical Library at library.ku.ac.ae/embase.
Both databases are key resources in medical research. Researchers frequently use both databases to ensure thorough searches in the available medical literature. This guide will help you use both in conjunction as you start your research.
Google Scholar is a popular tool for finding medical literature. It does offer some advantages, including:
That said, it also has limitations, especially compared to PubMed and Embase:
In short, Google Scholar has its place, but it better to start your medical research with PubMed and Embase. This is especially true for the type of advanced kind of searches you will need to build for things like systematic reviews.