Database content constantly changes and records are added retrospectively so years of coverage are fluid.
It is important to understand that the years indicated in a database name – such as Ovid MEDLINE(R) ALL <1946 to present> often refer to the date the catalogue started (1946 in this case) and not to the date of the earliest publications indexed in the database, which in Medline go back to the late 1700s.
For many bibliographic databases it is not possible to accurately define the years of coverage. That is why we keep these records for systematic reviews:
If you select 'limit to humans' you risk losing all non-indexed and pre-print publications in a database which have not been indexed as 'human'. This could be thousands of records.
A safer alternative is to search for the things we don't want (in this case animal studies) and remove them from the results. Adjust the line numbers below as appropriate.
6. [last line of search - your line number will be different]
7. exp animals/ not humans/
8. 6 not 7
Commonly used commands in Ovid Medline.
|Title field||.ti.||diabetes.ti.||Searches for a word or phrase in the title of a record eg "Managing diabetes in primary health".|
Searches for a word or phrase in the abstract of a record. Usually used in conjunction with title eg diabetes.ti,ab.
|Truncation||* or $||diabet*||Added to the end of a word or phrase. Searches unlimited characters after the truncation eg diabet* retrieves diabetic, diabetes. Nurs* retrieves nurse, nurses, nursed, nursing, nursemaid.|
|Wildcard (replace 1 character)||#||organi#e||Substitutes for one character only eg organi#e retrieves organise or organize|
|Wildcard (replace 0 or 1 character)||?||p?ediatric||Substitutes for zero or one character eg p?ediatric retrieves pediatric or paediatric|
|Proximity searching||adj1||nursing adj1 cancer||Retrieves words directly adjacent to each other in either order eg nursing adj1 cancer would retrieve cancer nursing or nursing cancer patients|
|Proximity searching||adj3||blood adj3 results||Retrieves words the specified number of spaces from each other in any order eg blood adj3 results retrieves blood in test results or results in blood loss etc|
Some databases, such as Ovid MEDLINE(R) ALL, include many thousands of non-indexed records and pre-print publications. These new records flood in from electronic publications and there is a time lag before they can be fully indexed or described. The records received from publishers are basic and don't (yet) include subject headings. Of course these non-indexed records include the latest research, so we don't want to lose them.
There are the only two limits we recommend:
Carl de Gruchy Library, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne
Literature Searching, Systematic Reviews, Mental Health liaison
Thursdays, Fridays & alternate Wednesdays
Helen's profile | Researchgate | Orcid