Truncation and wildcard search are two powerful techniques used in databases to increase the number of search results found. Truncation is represented by an asterisk (*) and is used to search for different forms of a word. For example, typing in ‘adoles*’ will search for words such as ‘adolescent’, ‘adolescence’, and ‘adolescents’. Wildcard search is similar to truncation but uses different symbols such as a dollar sign ($) or a question mark (?).
It is used to search for different spellings of a word or phrase. To use these techniques effectively, it is important to understand the rules of the database you are using. Different databases may use different symbols and rules for truncation and wildcard search. Consult the help screens of the database you are using to determine the appropriate symbols and rules.
Truncation and wildcard search can be used to narrow or broaden your search. For example, if you are searching for information about ‘environmentalism’, you can use truncation to search for words such as ‘environment’, ‘environments’, and ‘environmentalists’. You can also use wildcard search to find words with similar spellings such as ‘environmentalism’, ‘environmentalize’, and ‘environmentalizing’. These techniques can also be used to find words that are side by side in a sentence or phrase, regardless of order.
For example, if you are searching for information about ‘Morgan Library’, you can use truncation to search for words such as ‘Morgan’ and ‘Library’ that appear side by side in the same sentence or phrase. Truncation and wildcard search are powerful tools that can help you find more relevant information in a database. Understanding the rules of the database you are using will help you get the most out of these techniques.