A librarian helping a health professional to locate a book.A librarian helping a health professional to locate a book.A librarian helping a health professional to locate a book.


Search filters

Why use a search filter?

Search filters can help to focus your search and retrieve more clinically relevant research from health science databases. Using search filters for a particular topic or methodology may improve your search sensitivity or decrease the number of irrelevant results.

Looking for COVID-19 search filters?

Our COVID-19 Searches page will help you get started

Filter your search by topic

Lowitja Institute Search (LIt search) - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health

This search tool provides easy access to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health literature on the PubMed database. Look at all literature or choose one of 27 topic searches.

Ageing filter

Comprehensive PubMed search designed to retrieve all relevant research on ageing, older adults and geriatrics. Try the broad searchAustralian focus or combine with with subject-specific searches.

CareSearch - palliative care focus

Subject-based search filters for use in the PubMed database. These filters provide the best available evidence in palliative care related topics.

Flinders Filters

Standardised, systematic subject-based searches with known levels of performance. Topics include opthamology, primary health care, stroke, contraception, etc.

Integrated Care Search

Allows you to efficiently retrieve integrated care literature via PubMed. 

NSQHS Standards Literature Searches

Provides targeted searches for references about National Standards topics.

PubMed Special Queries

Directory of topic-specific searches including bioethics, cancer, toxicology and more. 

Transgender Topics

Search terms and filters (also called "hedges") to help you retrieve literature on transgender topics. 

Filter your search by study type

ISSG (InterTASC Information Specialists' Sub Group)

Search filters grouped by study design (eg. epidemiological studies) or focus (eg. quality of life).

McMaster University Health Information Research Unit

Methodological search filters covering therapy, diagnosis, prognosis, etiology, economics, reviews, and qualitative studies. The McMaster filters are also embedded in the Ovid databases at Austin Health.

PubMed Clinical Queries

A search interface to find citations in the areas of clinical study categories, systematic reviews and medical genetics

SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network)

SIGN has devised search filters for: systematic reviews; RCTs; observational, diagnostic & economic studies; and patient issues.

Limiting to humans only

The best way to limit your search to human studies is to remove animal studies from your results.
Use the "Humans only" Special Ovid Filter in either Ovid MEDLINE or Ovid Embase to remove records about animals:

1. Select your search terms

2. Combine your search terms

3. Click the Additional Limits button

4. Select the Humans only limit from the Special Filters section

5. Click Limit a Search

6. Review your results

Library Ovid Special Limits Humans