Unit 4: Search Methods
Lesson 6: Truncation
Truncation is a way to search for multiple endings of a particular keyword. Use truncation to find terms that begin with the same root word, or words with variant spellings.
To truncate a keyword, insert the truncation symbol * or ? at the end of the root word. For example, to truncate the term crime, add a ? to the end of the root word “crim.” The search term crim? will retrieve all records with variants of the root word, including crime, crimes, criminology, criminal, and criminals.
- child? finds child, children, childhood, childcare, etc.
- library? finds library, libraries, librarian, librarians, etc.
- comput? finds computer, computers, computing, computerized, etc.
- Review the Help function of online search tools to learn which symbol to use
- Some online search tools do not support truncation
- Enter at least the first three letters of a term before truncating it
- Only use truncation at the end of a term
- Edison State College Libraries’ online catalog uses the symbol ? to truncate.
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