A tale of two databases: a comparison of Embase versus Scopus




Poster session 3


Tuesday 25 October 2016 - 10:30 to 11:00


All authors in correct order:

Mann M1, Hood K1, Trubey R1, Powell C2
1 Cardiff University, UK
2 The Children's Hospital for Wales, UK
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Mala Mann

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: Embase is a bibliographic database covering international biomedical literature from 1947 to the present day. Scopus, likewise, is a bibliographic database, which claims to index more than 60 million records, including over 21,500 peer-reviewed journals and articles-in-press. As they are both produced by Elsevier, would the coverage be identical and is it necessary to search both databases when carrying out a search for a systematic review?

Objectives: To investigate the coverage, to determine the degree of overlap and the unique contributions of Embase and Scopus.

Methods: As a case study we used the search carried out for a systematic review investigating validated existing track and trigger scores for Paediatric Early Warning Systems. The total number of studies included in the review will be examined to determine: 1) which results were retrieved from Embase or Scopus; 2) whether each record was unique to that database; and 3) whether there was an overlap between the two databases.

Results: We will present the results of the searches and the records identified. Preliminary results reveal that 32 out of 34 included studies (48%) resulted from either the Embase or Scopus search. This in itself is an interesting finding.

Conclusions: The findings will have implications for those developing search protocols and enable us to draw conclusions about whether it is essential to search both databases.