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Search Filters for Various Databases: Home

This resource has search filters for different study types organized by interface and database. Make sure you choose the correct one! For example, you can't use the Ovid Medline interface to search PubMed!

Tips for using the search filters

About filters

A filter is a search strategy that has been developed to define certain criteria for your search. The Centre for Reviews and Dissemination has a list of published filters along with information on appraisal of search filters, links to articles that have evaluated filters, etc. When selecting a filter, be sure to look at the date of development as changes to database terms and structure can affect the performance of the search filter.

How will these filters help me?

The filters displayed on this page will help you locate specific types of studies (clinical trials, cohorts, cross-sectionals, etc.) as well as systematic reviews and meta-analyses. They are designed to be broad so you may retrieve items that don't seem to fit. By being broad, though, these searches are more likely to retrieve the items you need as long as the other terms incorporated into the search are inclusive. Unless otherwise indicated, these filters were developed and tested during the last half of 2010.

Have these filters been tested?

These filters have not been tested for sensitivity (true positives) or specificity (true negatives). They have been developed through experience and based on the findings of other researchers who have tested their search strategies.

How do I use the filters?

To use the filters:

  1. Make certain you choose the correct filters for the database and interface you are searching! 
    • The filters are not interchangeable between interfaces and databases. 
      • You can't use the Ovid Medline searches in PubMed nor can you use the Medline search in PsycINFO even though both have the Ovid interface. 
  2. Create your search for your topic.  Once you feel it's pretty complete, copy the filter you want and paste it in the text search box.
  3. Combine the last line of your search strategy with the filter.
  4. There are examples how to use the filters under each tab.  Take a look at those before trying one
  5. If you have questions, you can always contact us!

 Questions? Use our Ask-a-Librarian online service or Text Us: 713-965-6968