Truncation, also known as root or wildcard search, is a technique used in databases to expand the search to include various word endings and spellings. To use truncation, you enter the root of a word and place the truncation symbol at the end. This allows you to simultaneously search for different forms of a word and will increase the number of search results found. Different databases use different truncation symbols, so it's important to check the “Help” information or “Search Tips” in the database for details on which symbol to use. Truncation is very useful when you know that one of your search terms has multiple endings, but all the variations represent basically the same idea.
For example, if you are searching for information on trees, you can use truncation to search for tree, trees, treed, treeing, etc. In poetry, truncation refers to the practice of omitting syllables at the beginning or end of a line. In mathematics and computer science, truncation limits the number of digits to the right of the decimal point. Truncation can also involve removing the beginning of something, the end, the top, or another part of it. It is most often used to refer to the shortening of intangible things, such as a schedule or a piece of writing.
The earliest use of truncating is as an adjective that describes something (such as a leaf or a feather) with the square end as if it had been cut off. In conclusion, truncation is an effective search technique used in databases that allows you to simultaneously search for different forms of a word and will increase the number of search results found. Different databases use different truncation symbols, so it's important to check the information in the “Help” or “Search Tips” database for details on which symbol to use.