Database Searching Guide: Truncation and Wildcard

Wildcard and Truncation


Allows a single search to retrieve variant forms of a single string of letters.  Truncation is usually indicated by an asterisk (*).  one major exceptions in our database is Lexis-Nexis Academic, which uses the exclamation mark (!).  Thus, in almost all databases, the search string


will retrieve records containing “nationalism,” “nationalist,” “nationalistic,” etc.  Note, however, that Google does truncation for you automatically, so you should not use the asterisk there.

Databases that use the asterisk tend to use the question mark for a single wildcard character.  So, for example, in most databases,


will retrieve records containing both “woman” and “women.”

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