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PubMed (English): Filters & Clinical Queries

This LibGuide provides an overview of the various search options in the biomedical database PubMed.

Limiting your results

Once the individual search concepts have been combined into a definite search strategy, the search results can be restricted by language, study type, year, etc. using:

  • PubMed Filters
  • PubMed Clinical Queries
  • Search strategies designed by other institutes/research groups to serve as a search filter

PubMed Filters

Watch the demo on the filter menu (1:07) by Laupus Health Sciences Library.

Important Several filter options are MeSH terms in disguise, such as Humans. When you activate this filter, you are actually combining your search with AND Humans[MeSH], indicating that all articles must contain the MeSH term 'Humans'. Articles without MeSH (found through [tiab] searches) are now instantly deleted from your search.

Other filters that are MeSH terms, are all articles types (except systematic review), sex and age. For more information see the PubMed User Guide.

PubMed Clinical Queries

Clinical QueriesClinical Queries is located on the PubMed home screen under Find and allows you to restrict search results to clinical studies within a certain domain:

  • Etiology
  • Diagnosis
  • Therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Clinical prediction guides

In the Clinical Queries search box enter your search terms or copy paste your search query from the Pubmed History.

Next, select the desired category (see above) and scope:

  • Broad: yields more results, some may be less relevant (sensitive)
  • Narrow: yields fewer results with a greater relevance (specific)

Clinical Queries are search strategies designed for clinicians and help to limit the search to clinical studies. View the exact Clinical Queries search terms.

The Systematic Reviews filter option on the Clinical Queries page is identical to the SR filter in the Filters Sidebar.

More search filters

In addition to the PubMed search filters, you can use search filters designed by other institutes/research groups, or you can create one yourself.

Commonly used search filters:


Expert tip

You can also find articles in PubMed where researchers present newly developed search filters.

Another source for search filters is ISSG Search Filter Resource, a page developed through a partnership of British information specialists.