Finding scientific information: Analysing the search result

Analysing the search result

Database tools for analysing the search result (analyze results, refine results):

  • Help in evaluating list of publications in the results
  • Offer an easy opportunity to continue the search in the desired direction
  • Sort the search results according to various criteria

Before using the analysing or refining tools on your search result, make sure that your search string is correct, you are following the database intstructions and using the relevant search terms.


Some databases offer a tempting limit to full text -option.  It limits the search results to the full text documents included in the database in question. This option will leave out also those references that would provide easy access to the full text via the link or as an open access pubication.


Sort by

In general, the relevance and publication year are suggested as the order of presentation for the search results. Some databases offer also an option to organize a set of results according to the number of citations received by an article (Cited by), for example Scopus.

Document type

In many databases it is possible to limit the search results to peer reviwed publications only. Other document type limitations include for example books, conference proceedings or review articles. Example: Scopus

Publication year
Databases usually allow limiting with time of publication. Example: ProQuest.

Subject area


Many databases provide a possibility to refine the search result by broad subject categories, for example Scopus

Notice, that more specific keyword or  thesaurus term lists should not be used for limiting the search result, but rather for finding new search terms.