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Embase (English): Limits

This LibGuide offers an overview of the various search options of the biomedical database Embase on the Ovid platform.

Limiting your results

After combining search concepts, the search results can be limited by e.g. language, study type, year, etc. Click on the 'Limits' button and 'Additional Limits' to find all options for limiting a search. Tip! The Special Ovid Filters for Embase (under Additional Limits) are comprised of search strategies instead of only Emtree terms.


Excluding conference abstracts

Besides articles, Embase also includes conference abstracts. These are abstracts of (poster) presentations that were presented during conferences. If this publication type is not relevant, you can exclude these publications:

  • First, create a subset of the publication types that you wish to exclude, for instance: conference abstract. (search 2: Limits > Embase status > Conference Abstract status)
  • Subtract this subset from the full set with NOT (search 3).

Limits conference abstracts

Demo: Limiting your search strategy (2:59)

Info The demo can also be played in full screen mode.

Clinical Queries

Using Clinical Queries (via Additional Limits) you can limit the results to clinical studies in the following categories:

  • reviews
  • therapy
  • diagnosis
  • prognosis
  • causation-etiology
  • economics
  • qualitative

There are 3 options for each clinical study category: sensitive, specific, and an option with the best balance between sensitivity and specificity.

The Clinical Queries search strategies were designed by the Health Information Research Unit (McMaster University, Canada). View the exact Clinical Queries search terms.

Limiting by RCTs

Cochrane has developed a search filter to restrict results to RCTs in Embase.
Below you can find the RCT search filter rewritten in a single line to facilitate reuse.