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Truncation is like a wildcard. Added to the stem of a word, it will find that stem plus anything that comes after it. The symbol used to truncate a word depends upon the index, database, or Internet search engine you are using. Refer to the "Help" screens to determine truncation rules for individual databases.

truncation symbols

Truncation examples:

psychol? will return records on psychology, psychological, psychologist.

? is used as the truncation symbol, for example, in ABI/Inform and the SIUE online catalog.

environ* will return records on environment, environments, environmental.

* is used as the truncation symbol in Academic Search Premier and Periodical Abstracts.

  • Writing a theater paper? Use the rules of truncation (theat*) to find articles on "theater" and "theatre."
  • Studying childhood diabetes? Try typing child* to retrieve articles containing child, children, and childhood.
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