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How to Search in the Health Sciences: Fields

Fields Basics

  • Records in library databases are comprised of fields containing specific pieces of bibliographic information. Common fields include:
    • title
    • authors
    • source
    • publication type
    • language
    • subject headings
    • abstract
    • entry date (publication date)
    • doi
  • There are many additional fields that can be searched in most databases

Example of a CINAHL record with common fields highlighted


  • Limiting your search to specific fields in a database can yield more precise results:
    • Search in the Author field to find articles by William Osler, if you just do a keyword search on William Osler you will find article about and by him
    • Searching for terms and phrases in the subject heading field (must be the precise term/phrase - see subject headings for more information on this) will yield articles more directly related to your topic
    • Searching for terms and phrases in the article title field may also yield articles more directly related to your topic
  • Look for the Advanced Search page to search specific fields in a database
  • Below are examples of Field searching in PubMed (Advanced Search option). CINAHL (Advanced Search option), and SCOPUS (default search page)




Scopus - Search Window - showing selection of Article Title for searching

Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library (University of Manitoba) --- ph. 204-789-3342 |