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Conducting your literature review

Limiters and filters

Consideration should be given to which limiters you use in the databases you have selected. You would not usually select the full text search field as this is likely to include irrelevant results. The default search field in Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest One Business (ABI Inform) and Business Source Complete (EBSCO) can be used:

Index/Database Default search fields
Scopus title/abstract/keywords
Web of Science title, abstract, author keywords and keywords plus
ProQuest One Business (ABI Inform) anywhere except the full text
Business Source Complete (EBSCO) searches several fields including article title, abstract, subject
headings and keywords

Indexes such as Scopus, Web of Science and subject databases such as ProQuest One Business (ABI Inform) and Business Source Complete (EBSCO) provide filters (refining options) to help you refine your search results. Here are some examples:

  • Year – to restrict results by timeframe.
  • Subject – can be useful to exclude irrelevant results as well as narrow down results to relevant subject areas.
  • Document type – to limit results by format, e.g., articles.
  • Countries/regions – to limit results to a specific geographical location.
  • Language – to restrict results to, e.g., English only.