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Health Sciences Literature Searching: Search Limiters in CINAHL

A guide to help you search the Health Sciences literature


CINAHL's search limiters restrict the number of results so they focus on specific patient populations and literature types.

CINAHL's main limiters

CINAHL's limiters are listed under the search bar and the subtitle "Limit Your Results". The most important ones limit the literature to date published, subject, and patient populations.

Date Published

Date Published retrieves articles that were published during the years you specify. It especially helps when you want the most recent literature available.

Journal Subset

Journal Subset retrieves articles from a specific type of journal based on where it was published, the kind of medicine it covers, or the type of research done for the article.

Special Interest

Special Interest retrieves articles from specified fields of medicine.

Patient Populations

Sex and Age Groups limit the research to patient populations according to their sex and age.


Do not use Linked Full Text Limit. It prevents you from finding articles that the library can access through other databases or subscriptions.

Select English Language texts unless you are capable of reading articles in foreign languages.


There are many limiters that we haven't covered. Other important ones include Peer-reviewed and Evidence-based Practice. Try them and other settings to see how they impact your search results.

Subject Guide

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David Nolfi


You can also ask a librarian any time of day for help.