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Occupational Therapy - Dallas

Occupational therapy research guide for TWU Dallas students, faculty and staff.

Truncation and wildcards

Most databases will now automatically truncate words and check for variant spellings of a word.


You can add the truncation asterisk/symbol ( * ) to the root of a word and in doing so instruct the database to extrapolate all the possible endings--thereby saving you the time of entering them all in yourself. Be careful of cutting the word too short as this might open the search up to irrelevant search results.

A pictorial example demonstrating truncation.                             A pictorial example of an inefficient use of truncation.


The wildcard symbol (usually a "#" or "?") can be substituted in place of individual character/s in a term. This can be useful if you are not sure of the correct spelling of a word. However, it is mostly used to produce multiple forms of a term without having to enter that term multiple times,

                       Example: wom?n retrieves woman or women