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Limiting Searches

Many databases and search engines permit limiting searches. When you add limiters to your search, you can filter out unwanted results. Use the Limit or Refine Search option when you need to narrow your results.

the limit or refine search option as shown in the Proquest database

Some common ways to limit your search are by:

  • date of publication specify a date range i.e. only sources published after 2015
  • source type limit your results to a particular kind of source i.e. only magazines, only newspapers, etc.
  • full text limit your results to only sources available in full-text
  • format specify a format i.e. you only want results that are photographs or audio clips or letters to the editor, etc.
  • language limit your results to particular language i.e. only sources in Vietnamese or English

For example: If your professor asks you to use some scholarly sources on your paper about Cesar Chavez, a good research strategy for the database pictured below would be to check the box that would limit results to only scholarly, peer reviewed sources.

By selecting this limiter, your search would filter out or exclude results from any non-scholarly sources like newspapers and popular magazines. 

Chapter 5 — Page 13