Glossary: Truncation and Wildcards


These are terms we use for keyword search techniques.

Truncation involves using a symbol at the end of a word's root to find every term that starts with that root.

For instance, in TOPCAT we search for econom$ to find "economy", "economic", "economics", and "economical". In most online indexes the symbol used is an asterisk (*): "econom*".

A wildcard is usually used to represent any one letter in a specific place in a word. For instance, in TOPCAT we search for "wom?n" to find "woman" or "women".

See more information about using truncation and wildcards in our keyword searching tutorial.

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