Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Jun 02, 2016     Views: 1230

Many databases and the library's online catalog allow users to limit their search results by certain criteria (these are called "limiters" or sometimes "filters").

These options are often located somewhere on the database search page or results list as drop down menus or check boxes. Sometimes limiters are available on an "Advanced Search" page within a database or online catalog.

Some common and useful limiters include: date of publication, material type, full text, peer-reviewed articles only, language, and more.

For example, if you use the limiter "Material Type" to limit your search results to journal articles, then when you search for your topic the only type of material you should get as a result will be journal articles.

Most Useful For:
  • Allows users to narrow down search results by various criteria (e.g. scholarly sources only)
  • Allows users to find results based on very specific criteria (e.g. date of publication)
  • Available limiters may vary from database to database
  • Using too many limiters or poorly chosen limiters may bring back few or no results

The library has several books and eBooks in our collection which can help answer your questions about using limiters. Check out the books and web resources below for additional information.

Helpful Books from the Library:

 Librarian's Guide to Online Searching Book Cover

Librarian's Guide to Online Searching by Suzanne S. Bell
Call Number: ZA4460 .B45 2006
ISBN: 9781591583264
Publication Date: 2006-08-01

 The Creative Guide to Research Book Cover

The Creative Guide to Research by Robin Rowland
Call Number: [electronic resource]
ISBN: 9781564144423
Publication Date: 2000-07-01

To find more books and eBooks on using limiters, please search the Multi-Search or the Online Library Catalog.

These web resources may be helpful if you need help using limiters. However, be sure to evaluate any sources you use--the Shapiro Library cannot vouch for the accuracy of information provided on external websites.

Still Need Help? Ask a Librarian!

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