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allows simultaneous searches for variant forms of search terms.
This type of search is sometimes called stem searching because
the "stem" (or root) part of a word forms the foundation
for the search. A truncation symbol is then added at the end
of the stem (i.e. manag*).
HOW TRUNCATION WORKS
broadens searches to retrieve items containing various forms of a
word. This type of search increases the number of returns and locates
items that might be missed due to word choices.
For example, if you were looking for material about management, a
truncated search might be useful because it would locate items containing
variations of the root word "manage" and return records
containing terms like manager, managed, and so on. Most online search
tools allow this type of search, and the online search tips will indicate
what symbol to use in the search.
Truncation can be, and often is, combined with other types of search
refinements (boolean operators, nested terms, etc.) to enhance precision.
TO CREATE TRUNCATED SEARCHES
After reading the online search tips, you'll know what symbol to use
to create a truncated search. Then you need to figure out what constitutes
the best root for your search term, combine the root and symbol, and
In the example that follows, an asterisk (*) is used as the truncation
symbol. To create a truncated search to locate material related to
management, you would probably use manage or manag as
the root. Think carefully when choosing the root because it will determine
the number of results retrieved.
For example, using a truncated search for manag* would retrieve
results containing the words managing, management, manager,
managed, and managerial. However, the truncated search
for manage* would not retrieve items that only contained
the term managing and no other form of the word manage.
Also, truncated searches have the potential to significantly decrease
precision because they usually capture all possible words that share
the same beginning letters. For example, a search for mana*
instead of manag* would retrieve items containing the terms
listed above along with items containing the terms manacle
and manatee, which would probably not be useful in research