In the context of bibliographic search, truncation is a technique that shortens a search term to show words that share a root word but have different endings. It is also known as wildcard search and helps reduce the number of variations that need to be searched for separately. Truncation, also called derivation, is a technique that expands the search to include various word endings and spellings. To use it, enter the root of a word and place the truncation symbol at the end.
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. It allows you to search for a term and its spelling variants simultaneously, thus increasing the number of search results found. It also helps complete the search faster, since you don't have to type and search manually in every variation of the word.
However, it is important to understand the limitations of these algorithms and take matters into your own hands by truncating terms or using wildcards. This will significantly improve your searches. To truncate a search term, perform a keyword search in a database, but remove the end of the word and add an asterisk (*) at the end of the word.