Truncation, also known as root, is a powerful technique that allows you to search for various word endings and spellings. For example, if you search for “toxin” with truncation, you will get results for “toxins”, “toxinemia”, “toxinogenics”, “toxinogens”, “toxinotypes”, “toxin-3α-glucoside”, and “toxinogenesis”. This is a great way to quickly find all the variations of a word without having to type them all out. Truncation is one of four processes - wildcards, lemmatization, and lemmatization - that can help you expand your search results.
It is especially useful when you know that one of your search terms has multiple endings but all the variations represent the same idea. Using truncation will save you time since you don't have to manually type and search for each variation. To truncate a search term, simply type in the keyword in a database and then remove the end of the word and add an asterisk (*) at the end. The truncation symbol should always follow the letters you typed with no spaces between them.
It's important to note that lemmatization and lemmatization are not the same as truncation. If you're not sure how many letters you should type to capture your term and its variations without getting too many irrelevant results, experiment with truncating the term at different points. You can also watch this YouTube clip from the Gumberg Library for more information about using quotes, truncation and wildcards.