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Fields, are allocated spaces within a electronic article that are set up to store a specific type of information, e.g. the author field will be where author names are stored. The title field is where the title of the article will be stored.
Field searching allows you to tell a database exactly where you want to look for your keywords. By default, the field search will be set to 'all fields' meaning that your keyword search will check everywhere within an articles text for your specified keywords.
Field searches are helpful if:
You can get more pertinent articles by restricting your keyword search to the 'title' field. If the author has included your keywords in the actual title then there is a great chance that the article will be appropos to you.
You are looking for a specific author (author field).
You want to find a specific article but can only remember a word or two of the title (title field).
You want to pinpoint a particular subject (subject field).
You want articles that specifically mention your keywords in their abstract (abstract field).
You are looking something up by its ISBN number (ISBN field)
Example of Pubmed's fields: