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Medical Sciences: Database Search Tips: Filters and Limiters

Recommended resources for the College of Osteopathic Medicine

Limiting your search

Many databases will have filters allowing you to limit your results to review research articles. Often you will be able to restrict or filter your search results to the content most relevant to you. 

i.e. Limiting by date range, Limiting to Full Text

It is easy to limit your search results to a date range. For example, if you are searching on the EBSCOhost platform, you can specify the 'to" and "from" dates using the drop down options under Published Date. You will find this under Search Options, then Limit your results or you can get to it from the Advanced Search screen.

Published Date

Use Limiters If Available


Use the Methodology limiter to narrow to Literature Review. You may also want to try systematic review or meta analysis.

In ScienceDirect

Use the Article Type limiter to narrow to Review articles.

In Web of Science

Use the Document Types limiter to narrow to Review.

In PubMed

Use the Article Types limiter to narrow to specific types of articles. Click on customize for more options, including specific types of review articles, such as systematic reviews.

No Limiters Available?

To find reviews in a database like Google Scholar, you can try adding the word "review" to your search.

It is more challenging to limit to specific types of articles in a database like GS, but if you find a relevant result, simply reading the abstract will tell you if it's a review or an original/empirical article.

To find out if it's a peer-reviewed article, you can run a search for the journal itself to learn if the articles are peer-reviewed. You can also check the jounrnal in the Ulrichs database.

  • Type in the name of the journal and click on the magnifying glass.
  • Locate the name of the journal in the list.
  • You can click on the title to read more, but if you see a star symbol near the title, it means it's a peer-reviewed journal.

CINAHL Databases - Advanced Searching with Limiters