Online Search Techniques-Wildcards & Truncation


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Online Search Techniques-Wildcards & Truncation

  1. 1. ONLINE SEARCH TECHNIQUES Wildcards & Truncation
  3. 3. WILDCARDS & TRUNCATION• Use truncation (or stemming) and wildcards to look for variations in spelling and word form and to increase your search results.• The English language has many variations of the same word. For example: dog and dogs give and giving• Some words also are combinations of several words. For example: doghouse• You may need to search for some of these combinations at the same time, normally the singular and plural form of the same noun.
  4. 4. WILDCARDS & TRUNCATION• Involves substituting symbols for certain letters of a word so that the search engine will retrieve items with any letter in that spot in the word.• The symbol used is usually *.
  5. 5. WILDCARDS• For a wildcard search, put the symbol in the middle of the word. For example: colo*r Search results: color colour• A wildcard search makes it easier to search for related word groups. For example: wom*n Search results: woman women womyn
  6. 6. TRUNCATION• For a truncation search, put the symbol only at the end of the word. For example: librar* Search results: library, libraries, librarian, etc.• Truncation can be useful to search for a group of words instead of typing all the words in separately with the Boolean operator OR. For example: Invest* Search results: invest, investor, investors, investing, investment, investments, etc.
  7. 7. TRUNCATION TRICKS• BUT REMEMBER . . . invest* will also retrieve: investigate, investigated, investigator, investigation, investigating, etc.• The trick is to combine terms with the Boolean operator AND to try and narrow your search results to the kind of documents you’re looking for. For example: “invest*” AND "stock* or bond* or financ* or money”
  8. 8. TRUNCATION & WILDCARD TIPS• Truncation or wildcards work best when the stem is longer and if the stem is not a root of many other common words.• A lot of search engines "stem" keywords automatically. For example, they will automatically search for dog if you enter the keyword "dogs" and vice versa.
  9. 9. AN EXTRA GOOGLE TIP• Google has a special "tilde” operator that lets you search for synonyms.• If you place the tilde sign ("~") immediately in front of a keyword, Google will replace that keyword with a list of words with a similar meaning, expanding your search. For example: ~food facts Search results will also include “nutrition facts.”
  10. 10. IF YOU DO A SEARCH FOR . . . Your results will include: Dog Dogsdog* Dogged Doggy Dogma
  11. 11. IF YOU DO A SEARCH FOR . . . Your results will include: Injuries Injuryinjur* Injured
  12. 12. IF YOU DO A SEARCH FOR . . . Your results will include: Cat Cotc*t Cut
  13. 13. IF YOU DO A SEARCH FOR . . . Your results will include: Back Bilkb**k Bark Bank Book
  14. 14. BIBLIOGRAPHYChamberlain, E. (2006, September 7). Bare bones lesson 7: Basic search tips.The University of South Carolina Beaufort Library. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from Koch. (2012). Truncation or wildcards in internet searching. Truncation orWild Cards in Internet Searching. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from, K. L. (2008). Skills for online searching. Ipl2: Research & Writing InfoSearch. Retrieved March 12, 2013, from