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Search Library Databases Effectively: Truncation

What Does Truncation Do?

Truncation is a technique used in keyword searching. It is a symbol added to the ROOT of a word. It tells the database to broaden your search to include various word endings and spellings. Truncation helps reduce the number of search term variations you have to type separately.

Truncation symbols may vary by database but common symbols include: ? * # !


This truncated word... Will search for these terms in a database
elect* election, elections, electoral, electorate, 
econ* economy, economics, economical, 
hospital* hospital, hospitals, hospitality, hospitalization, 

Librarian's Tip!

Some words are not well-suited for truncation and will retrieve much more than you bargained for! Make sure you insert the truncation symbol at the right place! If you are looking for variation for the word "Politics", do not use POLI* as the database will get articles on police, policing, etc.!

Try It

"Try It!" with blank notebook and pencil

Complete this tutorial from Colorado State University Libraries and answer practice questions! 

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