Search by Truncation

This video reviews another way to broaden your search results: truncation.

Are you researching a subject, getting too few results, and would like to broaden your search results? Try using the truncation feature of the library’s databases! Truncation takes root words and searches for all possible variations of word endings and is performed by inserting an asterisk after the root word. For example, if you’re interested in “bacteria,” you could search for “bacteri*” and get results that not only include bacteria, but also bacterium and bacterial. However, sometimes using truncation will return an unwieldy number of results, many of which will be unrelated to your research. For example, if you are looking for articles about basketball and search “basket*” you will not only return basketball results, but also basketry, baskets, and basketcase. Truncation can also provide some perspective into the larger scholarly conversations happening. To summarize, if you’re looking for variations on a concept and don’t want to perform multiple searches, use an asterisk after a root word in order to truncate the term to streamline your search. If you have any further questions, click the Ask A Librarian button on the homepage for help.