This is the "Truncation" page of the "Tips for Searching (Boolean Search Guide)" guide.
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Tips for Searching (Boolean Search Guide)  

Learn how to develop effective search phrases.
Last Updated: Mar 17, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Truncation Print Page

Using Wildcards


Truncation, also known as wild card searching,  is a way of searching for alternate forms of a term without having to enter all of them. Most databases use the asterisk * as their truncation symbol, but this does vary. To determine which symbol is used check the help files of the database you are searching.


teen* would retrieve teen, teens, teenager, teenagers, teenage, etc.

Always try to truncate the word as close to the end of the word as you possibly can. This can help to reduce the number of irrelevant terms that are retrieved.


If you were looking for both spellings of the word catalogue, you would not truncate the word at cat* but at catalog*.

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