Use of Filters and Limiters
The use of filters and limiters is to narrow your the results from your search. In some cases narrowing is just because you have too many to choose from, in other cases, use of the filters is to intentionally narrow the results in a very specific manner. Not all filters are available in all databases.
FULL TEXT - By checking this filter, the results will only show those items that have a FULL TEXT version of the item available. The FULL TEXT version may be a pdf, an html (web version), or may be linked in another database. HINT: only use this if you have 3 days, or less, until your project is due.
SCHOLARLY / PEER REVIEW - By checking this filter, the results will only show those items that have gone through a PEER REVIEW process at the publisher. This implies that the items on the results list are all good, but this also eliminates some good material.
DATE RANGE - Here you set the date range for all the results. This is a good way to make sure that all your results are current. The date range should be dependent upon the field. In many STEM disciplines, items more than five years are considered too old. In most humanities disciplines, items that are fifteen to twenty years are just fine. You can also set the entire range to a five year span, but fifty years ago. This is handy if you need to research the origin of an idea.
SOURCE TYPE (FORMAT) - This filter allows you to set the type of documents available in the results list. For many academics, journals are the epitome of scholarship. In some instances though, a trade journal may be exactly what is needed. Choose carefully and with approval of your instructor. HINT: unless you need a book review, eliminate "reviews".
LANGUAGE - Most databases will have journals or individual articles published in languages other than English. This filter sets the results to whatever languages you wish. Most set to only languages that they can read. That is a shame. Google translate can do a wonderful job of translating entire documents (pdfs are best) from many languages (best at this time: German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese) and produce good translations. It is recommended that you treat those more as paraphrases and the you understand the gist of the argument, rather than make these your primary sources of information.
SUBJECT - By checking this filter, the results will only show those items that use those SUBJECT HEADINGS. SUBJECT HEADINGS are a form of controlled vocabulary, a fixed set of terms that are authoritative. Each SUBJECT HEADING is said to represent the bulk of the content of an article or book. Reading the SUBJECT HEADINGS of an item is akin to reading an abstract of that same item.
PUBLICATION - By checking this filter, the results will only show those items from that title or journal.
METHODOLOGY - By checking this filter, the results will only show those items match the METHODOLOGY selected. This is perfect for psychology/therapy/educational related disciplines. Medical disciplines as well will benefit from using this filter.
GENDER - By checking this filter, the results will only show those items that match the GENDER selected. This, like METHODOLOGY and AGE, is perfect for limiting results for psychology/therapy/educational and medical disciplines.
AGE - By checking this filter, the results will only show those items the match the AGE or AGE groups selected. This, like GENDER and METHODOLOGY are great to use for psychology/therapy/educational and medical disciplines.
GEOGRAPHY - By checking this filter, the results will only show those items from those geographic locations. This is good when socio-economics and geo-politics may effect the paper and its outcomes.