Using Truncation to Broaden a Search

Use truncation to broaden your search and to increase search results. Truncation is a technique for searching all variations of a word root. To use truncation you need to add a truncation symbol at the end of the word root. Truncation symbols allow you to search for a variety of words with the same word root. For example, typing comput* will retrieve records containing any of the words listed below:

  • Compute
  • Computer
  • Computers
  • Computing
  • Computerized
  • Computerization

Truncation symbols vary from database to database. Check the database help page if you are unsure of the truncation symbol. Common truncation symbols are listed below:

SYMBOL DATABASE
? (question mark) ABI Inform
! (exclamation point) Lexis/Nexis Academic
* (asterisk) Academic Search Complete
Business Source Complete
CINAHL
ERIC
$ (dollar sign)

OT Search
Other older databases

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