Limiters allow you to narrow your results by a specific property, i.e. by its publication date or what kind of source it is from, such as a newspaper or a journal. Most databases allow you to limit your searches by the following three criteria: specific date or date range, scholarly/peer reviewed articles, and full text. Others allow you to limit your results by publication type, subject areas, language and other criteria.
Limiters can be found either in the side menu of your search results or you can apply them before your search by using the advanced search function available in many databases.
Limiting your results to full text will only return results that have the entire article available within the current database. Without full text selected, some of the results may be only a citation and/or abstract for an article and you will have to use JOURNAL LOCATOR to see if we have access to the full text of the article. While it is tempting to always search with the full text limiter on, you could potentially eliminate valuable results which could be available in another database.
Examples of full text limiting in three databases. (Research Library, Academic Search Premier, Academic OneFile)
Many times when you have an assignment, your professor will ask you to find a scholarly or peer reviewed resource. Scholarly/peer reviewed articles are created by experts in their fields and have been reviewed by others in their field before being approved for publication. If the information in the article is deemed inaccurate or incorrect, in theory at least, it won't be published in a peer reviewed journal, unlike magazine or newspaper articles which are written by journalists who may or may not be experts in the topic on which they are writing and so may not be as reliable.
Databases make finding scholarly/peer reviewed articles easy. Most search interfaces give you the option to narrow your search results to scholarly/peer reviewed articles in either the left or right hand menu.
Examples of scholarly/peer reviewed limiting in three databases. (Research Library, Academic Search Premier, Academic OneFile).
Many databases allow you to narrow your search results to a specific date or date range. This is useful when you're asked to find resources from the past 5 years or something similar. This option is usually found in one of the side bar menus.
Examples of date range limiting in three databases. (Research Library, Academic Search Premier, Academic OneFile).
Depending on the database in which you're searching, there are usually a variety of limiters available. Some will have none; others will have a lot. For instance, Academic Search Premier has eleven different limiter options while JSTOR has only three. You should explore the limiters that are available to you and see if they are applicable for your search.
Examples of available limiters in three databases. (Research Library, Academic Search Premier, Academic OneFile).
Don't forget you can also limit your search results before you search by using the limiter options available in the advanced search function of many databases.
Academic Search Premier advanced search limiter options.