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Guide to using PubMed.

Using filters

PubMed offers a wide range of in-built filters that can be applied to limit your search. For example, the language filter is a useful way to quickly limit articles to those where the full text article will be written in English.

It's worth noting that some PubMed filters, such as the 'Humans' filter, will limit your results to only those articles that have been fully indexed with MeSH. Using these filters can therefore mean that you miss relevant articles that have not been indexed, and so your search may not be comprehensive.

PubMed filters that are not based on MeSH include the Publication date and Language filters. For systematic or comprehensive searches in PubMed use caution when using any other in-built PubMed filters as these most likely rely on MeSH indexing. 

PubMed's Clinical Queries feature includes some additional, sophisticated search filters.

Applying filters

Once you have your search results you can apply filters to limit your search. A selection of filters is displayed on the left hand side of the screen. Other filters can be added by clicking the Additional Filters button. 

Filtering results by publication date or by year

For a set year limit, scroll down to Publication Date and select either the last 1, 5 or 10 years. Alternatively, use the Results by Year filter by dragging the circle(s) to the years you are looking for. If you hover on each bar of the graph, you can see how many publications there were for each year. 

Results by year







Filtering results by article type

Tick the box next to Review to filter your results to review articles. 

Article type

Filtering results by age

To apply an age filter, select Additional Filters, choose Age and select the options that you wish to add to your search screen e.g. ‘65+ years’. Selecting specific age options and clicking Show in the dialogue box will add the filter to the left hand side of your search screen.

Once the filter is on your search screen, tick the box by it to filter your search results. 

Filter by age

When you set filters, they will remain active until you click Clear All, at the top of your results or Reset all filters at the left of the page.

Make sure to clear your filters when starting a new search.