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2.3.6 Truncation and wildcards

 
Identify and obtain  information
2.1 Define your search terms
2.2 An example search strategy
2.3 Search strategies
  2.3.1 Keyword or subject searching?
  2.3.2 Boolean operators
  2.3.3 Mathematical operators
  2.3.4 Nesting
  2.3.5 Phrase searching
  * 2.3.6 Truncation and wildcards
2.3.7 Prepare a search strategy
2.4 Select an appropriate tool
2.5 Keep up to date
- - - - -
Glossary

Most library catalogues and databases allow truncation and wildcards.

Truncation

Truncation is a search strategy that uses a symbol (generally an *) to find items which include any terms starting with the word stem. Be careful where you place the truncation symbol.

Use truncation to broaden your search by picking up plurals and word derivations.

Entering: gambl* (or gambl! or gambl$, depending on the search tool) will find the terms: gamble, gambling, gambler.

Activity

Activity indicatorWhere should you place the truncation symbol (*) to pick up variations on biology without retrieving irrelevant results?

a. biolog*
b. biol*
c. bio*
d. biology*

Response:

Wildcards

A wildcard uses a symbol (generally an ?)to replace one unknown character within a word search.

Use wildcards to pick up words that have different American and English spellings.

Entering: organi*ation (or gambl! or gambl$, depending on the search tool) will find the terms: gamble, gambling, gambler.

Note: Check the Help screens of the search tool to determine what symbols are used for truncation and wildcards.

Activity

Activity indicatorWhat is the wildcard symbol used in Library One Search?

Hint: You will need the check the Help screen in Library One Search to determine this.

a. $
b. !
c. *
d. ?

Response:




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