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May 2016 Update to Emtree in STN Provides Expanded Terminology for Biomedical and Pharmacological Searchers

27. June 2016

The May 2016 version of Emtree is now available in Embase and Embase Alert on classic and new STN! The Emtree thesaurus provides access to the terminology of pharmacology, biomedicine and medical devices, and should be used for designing comprehensive yet precise searches.

The new Emtree version adds 858 new terms, including 146 drug terms (primarily chemical names for drugs and generic names for pharmaceuticals). The 712 new non-drug terms include the names of medical procedures, geographical names, language terms and Zika fever and Zika virus. The total number of preferred terms in Emtree is now 73,922.

STN customers running Alerts in Embase and Embase Alert are encouraged to review the vocabulary changes introduced with this new version of Emtree, and adjust their search strategies as necessary. Lists of new and replaced terms introduced with the May 2016 version of Emtree are traditionally posted on the database producer’s web site. Please visit for their availability or contact the producer.

As a reminder, the January 2016 version of the Emtree thesaurus in classic STN introduced several types of new data:

Field Code

Field Name




Abbreviation - Two character subheading for medical and drug subheadings. Example: PR/CT, for the term pharmaceutics


Term Type

Emtree controlled terms are classified as one of the following: disease term, drug term, device term or medical term


History Note

Includes creation date for Preferred terms, plus additional history notes. May also include scope notes describing how the Preferred Term is indexed.


Term Name Type

Applies to Preferred Terms only. Will be one of the following: MeSH descriptor, device trade name or drug trade name.


Enzyme Commission Number

Numerical classification scheme for enzymes. Example: EC

Refer to the updated Database Summary Sheets for Embase and Embase Alert for additional information on Emtree (