Guide to using filters in pubmed




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HINARI Access to Research in Health Programme

MODULE 4.2: HOW to UsE PubMed

-- A GUIDE TO USING FILTERS IN PUBMED



Table of Contents – Module 4.2:

  • Filters by publication date

  • Filters by language

  • Filters by age

  • Filters by type of article

  • Filters by text options

  • Search field tags

    • Filters by affiliation

    • Filters by author

    • Filters by journal

This module continues the mastering of the skills necessary to utilize the PubMed database as means to identify e-journals within HINARI. It will emphasize the use of Filters while searching in PubMed. Again, this will build on searching skills you have learned in previous modules.


Similarly to the other modules, you will need access to the Internet and be required to complete a series of exercises. You must login to HINARI and then go to ‘search for articles through PubMed (Medline)’ or you will not have access to the full-text articles (see section 1. Connecting to PubMed)


  1. Connecting To PubMed

HINARI users can search and access full-text articles directly from the PubMed database. You will need to have your HINARI log in details to do this.


  • First go to the HINARI website found at www.who.int/hinari where you can select the LOGIN hyperlink which will take you to the HINARI login page.

  • When the login page opens, enter your institutional HINARI User Name and Password into the login boxes and then select the Login button to access

  • If you do not register in HINARI using your institution’s User Name and Password, you will not have access to the HINARI publishers’ full-text articles at the completion of your PubMed search.




  1. Using Filters In PubMed

The exercises will guide you through using the Filters function to narrow down your search on PubMed. These exercises will illustrate the different filters you may apply to a search, along additional exercises to practice at the end. They will expand on the skills you have mastered searching in the HINARI and participating publishers’ websites.


Tip! If you use the back button on your browser whilst navigating around PubMed you may find that you need to use the “refresh” feature in order to re-display the webpage.

Exercise 1




  • From the HINARI Contents page, select the hyperlink Search inside HINARI full-text using PubMed.

  • When HINARI/PubMed opens, enter your search terms in the empty PubMed search query box- type in the following statement: tuberculosis. Then click on the adjacent Go button.

  • The results found should now be displayed.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search? Obviously, the search results are very large and must be limited.

  • Delete tuberculosis from the query box by clicking on the Clear button.


Filters

If you take a look at the results found from exercise 1, you will see how many records have been found in your results. It is probably well over 180,000! This number is far too large to work with in any meaningful way. We can begin to narrow down the results to a more manageable amount by using the Filters function in PubMed.

The Filters are located on the left column of a PubMed search results.


Exercise 2




  • Using your search from exercise 1, review the Filters options in the left column and consider which options would be useful to you.

2.1 Using Publication Date Filters

The publication date option in PubMed reflects the printing date of the article. This is information that will be supplied to PubMed by the publisher of the article and will refer to the date that the article went into print in a publication.



Exercise 3


Using Publication Dates Filters in PubMed

  • Enter hepatitis C in the empty search query box and click on Search.

  • View the Filters options in the in left column of the search results of this search.

  • From the Publication dates listing, click on the 5 years filter.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search?

  • Note that, in the records you find, there are less than the initial search with only articles for the last 5 years listed. Note that, in the Publication Dates filters, 5 years is bolded with a check mark. Also below the search results line, Filters activated published in the last 5 years is noted.

  • Remove this Publication dates filter by clicking on the bolded 5 years Publication dates filter or clear (located near the Publication dates filters display) or Clear all (located at the top and bottom of filters).

  • Open the Publication Dates Custom range option. In the Specify Custom Date Range, enter the data for the most recent year (e.g. 2013 01 01 to date or leave 2nd date box blank).What is the result (# of citations) from this search?

  • Click on clear or Clear all or click on the specific Publication dates bolded filters - to remove the recently set date filter.

  • Remember – if you do not remove the Publication dates bolded filters, they will be used for the next search.


2.2 Using Language Filters

PubMed indexes articles in approximately 40 languages. It is possible to limit (filter) searches to one or more languages which are listed in the “drop down” menu next to language.


Exercise 4

Using Language Filters

  • Remain in the hepatitis C PubMed search.

  • View the filters options in the in left column of the search results of PubMed.

  • If the Languages filters are not displayed in the column, click on Show Additional Filters, check the box for Languages and click on Show.

  • In the Languages filters option, click on More to open the Languages drop down menu. Note that English is the default language. Note – in the original search, all languages are listed.

  • Click in the check boxes for any additional languages you would like to use (e.g. French or Spanish or Portuguese or any other language listed) and click on Show. These will be displayed in the Languages filters section.

  • In the Languages filters section, click on each displayed Language. This will result in the language being added to the search results and noted below the Search Results line. Upon being selected, the Language will be bolded and have a check. Note – you can choose one or more Language filters

  • What are the results (# of citations) as you add each Language to this search? Is the number bigger than the original search total?

  • By clicking on More, you can add other Language filters to the list and then, once displayed, add them to your search by bolding them.

  • To remove the Languages filters, click on the Languages bolded filters or clear or Clear all.

  • Remember – if you do not remove the Language bolded filters, they will be used for the next search.


2.3 Using Ages Filters

PubMed also has numerous Ages filters; one or more of these can be applied to any search. These options will help you refine your search to specific age sub-groups.



Exercise 5



Using Ages Filters

  • Enter HIV AND pregnancy in the search and click on Search.

  • View the filters options in the in left column of the search results of PubMed.

  • Click on Show additional filters (top of Filters column) to open the additional filters drop down menu. Check the box for Ages and click on Show.

  • Note there is a default list of Ages filters. Click on More at the bottom of the Ages filters list and the Ages drop down menu will be displayed. Check the boxes to add Adolescent 13-18 years and Young Adults 19-24 years age filters and click on Show.

  • From the Ages filters list, (sequentially) click on Adolescent 13-18 years and Young Adults 19-24 years.

  • The search will now include these filters as they have a check and are bolded. Also. Filters activated Adolescent 13-18 years, Young Adults 19-24 years is noted below the Search Results number at the top of the page.

  • What are the results (# of citations) from the two Ages filters used in this search? Are they bigger or smaller than the original search total?

  • By clicking on More, you can add other Ages types to the list and then, once displayed, add them to your search by bolding them.

  • Close all Ages filters by clicking on the bold Ages bolded filters or clear or Clear all.

  • Remember – if you do not remove the Ages bolded filters, they will be used for the next search.


2.4 Using Article Type Filters

To apply Type of Article Filters to your search, find the Filters options in the left column in PubMed and click on the ‘drop down’ menu next to the field for Articles Types. You will then see the full list for the different types of publications. This option allows you to limit the search to Review or Practice Guidelines or Randomized Controlled Trial or Meta-Analysis. You can choose more than one.


Exercise 6


Using Article Type Filters

  • Enter cancer AND developing countries in the search box and click on Search.

  • View the Article types filters options in the in left column of the search results of PubMed.

  • Click on the Practice Guidelines and Review filters. Note: you may have to click on More at the bottom of the Article Types options, check the boxes for Practice Guidelines and Review and then click on Show. Then you click on these two filters.

  • What are the results (# of citations) from the two Article types filters used in this search? Are they bigger or smaller than the original search total? displayed,

  • Remember – if you do not remove the Article types bolded filters, they will be used for the next search.

  • Note how Practice Guidelines and Review articles are bolded with a check mark in the Article types filters section. Also below the search results, Filters activated Practice Guidelines, Review is noted.

  • Close all Article types filters by clicking on two highlighted Article types filters or clear or Clear all.

  • By clicking on More, you can add other Article types to the list and then, once are displayed, add them to your search by bolding them. Close all Article type filters by clicking on the Article types bolded filters or clear or clear all.

  • Remember – if you do not remove the Article types bolded filters, they will be used for the next search.


2.5 Using Affiliation Filter

As you view the Filters column, you will see alternatives in the All fields filter’s drop down menu such as affiliation, author, journal, MeSH and title.


If you are looking for an item from a particular organisation, for example WHO, selecting the affiliation filter will limit a search to articles where the first author listed has WHO in the address field.
Exercise 7


Using Affiliation Filter

  • Type WHO or an organization of interest to you into the PubMed search box and click on Search. Note the number of citations from this search. It should be a huge number because it includes the word ‘who’.

  • From the Filters column, click on Choose additional filters and then click on the box for Search fields and Apply.

  • Click on Search fields and Apply and a new drop down menu will appear. Click on the Affiliation option and Apply.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search? These are the search results for WHO and the Affiliation filter.

  • Note, in the bottom of the Filters column that, in Search fields, Affiliation is bolded.

  • If you display these results as abstract records and look in the address line, you will see WHO. (Click on Display Settings below the search box, then check the box for Abstract and click on Apply.)

  • The filter you have used is listed below the search results – Filters activated: Field: Affiliation. Note: you can search for any other Affiliation while this field is activated.

  • The Affiliation filter automatically is deleted when you use another Search fields filter. If you want to use another filter, you must delete the Author filter by clicking on the bolded Affiliation filter or clear or Clear all.


2.6 Using Author Filter

PubMed contains an option in which individual author’s publication can be searched. To search by author, users enter the surname followed by initial(s) if know them.


Exercise 8


Using Author Filter

  • From the Filters column, click on Choose additional filters and then click on the box for Search fields and Apply. You need to be on the Search results page of PubMed to activate this filter.

  • A new Search fields drop down menu will appear. Click on the Author option and Apply.

  • Type Ribiero or an author of interest to you into the PubMed search box and click on Search.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search? These are the search results for Ribeiro and the Author filter.

  • Note, in the bottom of the filters column that, in Search fields, Author is bolded.

  • The Filter you have used is listed below the search results – Filters activated: Field: Author.

  • You can make this search more specific by entering the author with the first and middle name initials (e.g. Ribeiro JM) in the PubMed Search box and clicking on the Author Search fields option. Note: you also can search for any other Author while this field is activated.

  • The Author filter automatically is deleted when you use another Search fields filter. If you want to use another filter, you must delete the Author filter by clicking on the bolded Author filter or clear or Clear all.



2.7 Using Journal Filter

PubMed contains an option in which articles from individual journals can be searched by title. This is of interest as a means of identifying articles in one publication and can be combined with the Publication date filter.


Exercise 9


Using Journal Filter

  • From the Filters column, click on Choose additional filters and then click on the box for Search fields and Apply. You need to be on the Search results page of PubMed to activate this filter.

  • A new Search fields drop down menu will appear. Click on the Journal option and Apply.

  • Type Emerging Infectious Diseases or a journal title of interest to you into the PubMed search box and click on Search.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search? These are the search results for articles published in Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Journal filter.

  • Note, in the bottom of the filters column that, in Search fields, Journal is bolded.

  • The filter you have used is listed below the search results – Filters activated: Field: Journal. Note: you can search for any other Journal while this field is activated.

  • Note: the Journal filter automatically is deleted when you use another Search fields filter. If you want to use another filter, you must delete the Journal filter by clicking on the bolded Journal filter or clear or Clear all.
Exercise 10


Using Multiple Filters (a Summary)

  • Insure that all the PubMed Filters have been deleted by clicking on Clear all in the Filters column.

  • Type malaria (or a search term of your choice) into the search box and perform a search in PubMed.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this broad search?

  • View the filters options in the in left column of the malaria search of PubMed. Your query malaria will appear in search query box.

  • Add the following Filters: Abstract available, 5 years Publication dates, Practice guideline and Review Article types and Child 0-18 Ages.

  • What is the result (# of citations) from this search?

  • In reviewing all the Filters options (by affirmation, publication type, age, date, language, etc.), list three options that you think you would use when searching PubMed. Why would you use these options?

Reminder: While working with Filters, you probably noticed the line that Text availability Filter that has the Abstract, Free full text, Full text available options. By clicking on these options, you would filter your search to include all articles with abstracts or full text articles or those articles that are available as free full text by various publishers or those citations that have abstracts.



Note: if you click only on free full text and NOT full text, your HINARI tab will be limited to only articles that are both free full text and HINARI – a significantly less #.

Assignment

You now have finished module 4.2 and completed ten exercises. You have learned a multiple skills for using limits for searches in PubMed that are invaluable when limiting broad searches to find the articles that you want.


Updated 2013 12



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