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Searching Health Sciences Literature

Learn how to create a searchable question to find and access literature to help answer your clinical question.

Filters

Filters allow you to limit the results you get in a database. You might think having a lot of results come up in your search is great, but having too many results can be overwhelming. What would you do if your search came up with over 10,000 hits? Would you have the time, patience, and attention span to scan each article to see if it is worth your time?

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Your answer is probably no. And that is fine -- because that is why filters were created. Filters allow you to narrow down your search results to just those articles that are relevant to your search. There are many kinds of limits -- you can limit by type of research (RCT, systematic review, case study, etc.), by year published, by subject heading -- some databases even let you limit by the subject species (such as tests involving rats) or by gender or age (only studies done on adolescent females).

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