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CINAHL Guided Exercise: 8. Refine with Limits

8. Applying Limits to Refine

In CINAHL, we can see more relevant by defining characteristics of the paper or subjects we are searching for by using Limits.  These are usually applied at the end of the search strategy. 

There are two categories of Limits: 

  1. Relevant to personal characteristics such as:
    • Age
    • Gender
  2. Relevant to Paper criteria such as:
    • Date
    • Publication Type
    • Language

Step by Step: Applying Limits

Apply Limits

  1. Click Edit on the Search History line for you most recent search.
  2. For our Limit search we will want to define two criteria
    • Language
    • Publication Date within the last five years

1.  Limit Results by Language

  1. Find and select the checkbox for English Language under Limit your results.
    • You can locate this on the left-hand bar as well, or select multiple languages farther down the Edit menu.
  2. Never use the Full Text filter, which fails to include much of UBC's collection.

2.  Define the Publication Date

  1. Find Published Date under Limit your results.
  2. Type in the current year minus five into the Start Year textbox.
    • Leaving End Year blank will include up to the newest papers by default.
    • It is not necessary to specify a month when selecting a year.
    • Professors sometimes specify five or ten years of recent research. We are using five here.
  3. At the bottom of the Edit Search box, click Save.
    • Our limits are now added to the search in Search History



Video Demo: CINAHL - Setting limits in your search results
CINAHL's options for limits can be found in 3 places
  • The Edit link in Search History [all options]
    • Using the Edit link on a line of the search history opens the full array of possible limits. It also gives the option to change your search string if, for example, you used an AND where you should have used an OR. Selecting options here and saving clicking Save at the bottom will update the search in your history.
  • The Advanced Search link under the search boxes [all options]
    • Using Advanced Search opens the full array of possible limits. If you do not enter text into the search fields, then when you hit search it will apply the limits to the last search in your history which does not already have limits applied.
  • The left-hand Refine Results pane [few options]
    • Using the Refine Results pane, you will see only seven of the more common possible limiters, along with two database filters.

Limits: Edit Link

Applying Limits in CINAHL: Edit link

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Limits: Advanced Search

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Limits: Refine Results Pane

Applying Limits in CINAHL: Refine Panel

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Using Limits

  1. Decide if you need to add limits
    • Results may be low enough to scan titles for applicability
  2. Follow steps above to add Limits to your search
  3. If including more than the basic filters described above, add them one at a time.