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Expert Searching

What are Database Fields?

Use database fields to search with specific parts of a citation. Literature databases index citations provided by publishers. Some databases only index journal articles (such as PubMed) while other databases index additional items such as conference proceedings, dissertations, and book chapters.

Database publishers assign each part of a citation to a different field in the database. For example, all authors listed for an articles are assigned to the "Author" field, all words in an abstract are assigned to the "Abstract" field, etc. Many databases also add controlled vocabulary terms to describe the major concepts presented in an article which are then tagged as such. Any search terms you use are only searched across the citation information in a database, not the full text of the article.

Searching using specific fields of a citation in literature databases increases the precision of your search by dictating which part of the citation a specific keyword or phrase must appear. This is useful if you want to find articles on a specific topic that were written by a particular author or originated from a specific institution or are published in a specific journal.  

Examples of citation fields:

screenshot of record

Searching With Database Fields

Step 1:

Click on the Advanced link under the main PubMed search box:

Step 2:

Select the field from the drop-down menu where you want to the keyword or phrase you enter to appear. CChoose AND or OR, to combine each concept of your search. You can click on the + sign on the right side of the search box to add another search box.. When you are done, click the Search button to execute the search.

Select the field from the drop-down menu where you want to the keyword or phrase you enter to appear. Choose AND or OR, to combine each concept of your search. You can click on the + sign on the right side of the search box to add another search box. When you are done, click the Search button to execute the search.

Select the field from the drop-down menu where you want to the keyword or phrase you enter to appear. Choose AND or OR, to combine each concept of your search. You can click on the + sign on the right side of the search box to add another search box. When you are done, click the Search button to execute the search.

Select the field from the drop-down menu where you want to the keyword or phrase you enter to appear. Choose AND or OR, to combine each concept of your search. You can click on the + sign on the right side of the search box to add another search box. When you are done, click the "Search" button to execute the search. EBSCO databases include CINAHL and PsycINFO.

Searching With Field Tags

An alternative way to search for terms in a specific field of a citation is to add a "Field Tag" to your search terms. Most databases allow you to qualify search terms using a code called a "Field Tag" to force the database to only search for that term in a specific field.

Field Tag

PubMed

Embase

EBSCO Databases

SCOPUS

Web of Science

Title

"term"[ti]

'term':ti

TI term

TITLE(term)

TI=term

Abstract

"term"[ab]

'term':ab

AB term

ABS(term)

---

Title or Abstract

"term"[tiab]

'term':ti,ab

AB term OR TIterm

TITLE-ABS(term)

TS=(term)

Author

"Smith A"[au]

'Smith A':au

AU Smith A

AUTH(Smith A)

AU=(Smith A)

Author Address/Affiliation

"term"[ad]

'term':ad

AF term

AFFIL(term)

AD=(term)

Journal Title

"term"[ta]

'term':jt

SO term

SRCTITLE(term)

SO=(term)

Where to Find

All field codes for PubMed 

All field codes for Embase

All field codes for:

All field codes for SCOPUS

All field codes for Web of Science