Module 2 header graphic

Truncation and Wild Cards
Truncation and wildcard symbols stand for one or more letters within, or at the end of, a search term.

It is important to note that the symbols used for this will vary widely from one research tool to another. The ?, $, and * symbols are most common, but they will behave differently in different databases or search engines.


Added to the stem of a word, a truncation symbol will find that stem plus anything that comes after it. The symbol used to truncate a word depends upon the database or Web search engine you are using. 

will return records on market, marketing, markets. ? is used as the truncation symbol, for example, in ABI/Inform Global and the library catalog.
will return records on pig, pigment, pigmentation, pigments, pigs.
will return records on advertise, advertised, advertising, advertisement, advertisements.
* is used as the truncation symbol in Academic Source Complete and Wilson Web databases.
Wildcard symbols inserted within a word will retrieve word variants. 
will return records on woman or women. ? is used as a wildcard symbol, for example, in Academic Source Complete and Wilson Web databases.
will return records on color or colour.
will return records on receive--handy if you're not sure how to spell it! * is used as a wildcard symbol within words in ABI/Inform Global.
Back | Next