ClinicalKey is a medical search engine and database tool owned by medical and scientific publishing company Elsevier that offers access to the medical library published by that company.


ClinicalKey was developed by Elsevier's Global Clinical Reference (GCR) team and involved consulting more than 2,000 doctors across the world over two years. The service aims to provide a source of clinical answers. ClinicalKey uses the semantic technology of the health information service Healthline Networks.[1] The ClinicalKey website was launched in mid-April 2012 in its third iteration after alpha and beta testing versions. It is targeted at the health institutions, universities and schools, with an individual physician subscriptions launching in the third quarter of 2012.[2] Two ClinicalKey applications for mobile phones are due to launch in the second half of 2012.[3]

ClinicalKey marks a change in Elsevier's approach to providing of clinical information through aggregated content services rather than the traditional model of journals and textbooks. The service is being marketed as a 'clinical insight engine'.[2] The technology harnesses user behaviour and database terminology to improve search results, rather than simply pattern matching search.[4]


Users of ClinicalKey are given full-text access to over 600 of Elsevier's journals, 1,000 books, and 9,000 medical and procedural videos. The search engine is aided by taxonomy tags known as "smart content" that uses EMMeT (Elsevier Merged Medical Taxonomy), and a selection of filtering tools including by journal or textbook, clinical guidelines or clinical trials, First Consult reviews, images, or the US National Institute of Health's MEDLINE database (of journal citations and abstracts for biomedical literature).[5] Users can also export citations, images and copyright information into PowerPoint presentations.[3]

See also


  1. (April 24, 2012) Healthline's Semantic Search Platform Powers Elsevier's ClinicalKey, a Next-Generation Reference Tool for Physicians
  2. Davidson, Linda (16 April, 2012) Elsevier launches Clinical Key E-Health Insider,
  3. Pogoreic, Deanna (June 5, 2012) ‘Google for docs’ brings a new kind of smart searching to medical research MedCity News,
  4. Odjala, Marydee (April 19, 2012) Understanding Clinical Terms
  5. Cerrato, Paul (Feb 14, 2012) Medical Search Engine Shootout: ClinicalKey Vs. UpToDate
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