Question: What does explode mean in a Dialog thesaurus?

Answer:  
Within the Dialog thesauri, various terms will have the option to be “exploded”.

This option, when selected, will search the selected term within the thesaurus. However, it will also search for all the narrower terms associated with it.


Searching the phrase “drug therapy” as an exploded term in MesH (although the same will happen in Embase)

Mesh.exact.explode(“Drug Therapy”) – or for Embase Emb.exact.explode(“Drug Therapy”)

This will include all records indexed with the narrower terms listed below, but not the broader terms.



However, the explode command will also include all the narrower terms for each of the terms listed above.

As an example – the term “Drug Prescriptions” also has narrower terms, and these will be included in the explode search


Using the pop-up thesauri, you can also limit which terms are included in the “explode” command if you do not wish to include all as default.