What is "truncation" and how do I use it to search a database?
Last Updated: May 03, 2017     Views: 32

Truncation is a search technique that allows you to search all variations of a word (singular & plural cases, adjectives, adverbs, etc.) without having to enter each separate variation of the word in your search strategy. 

To use it, simply shorten a search term to some portion of its root stem by dropping the suffix letters and placing an asterisk symbol (*) after the final letter of the stem you intend to search. 

This is what a truncated search term looks like:

athlet*

In this example, the truncated root athlet* will retrieve any variation of the letters following the stem: 

• athlete

• athletes

• athletic

• athleticism

You could combine each of these terms into an OR search and get the same (or similar) results, but using truncation will save a few keystrokes and some time.

Truncation can be an efficient way to search variations of your search terms.

Using truncation can be very helpful if you are trying to ensure you don't miss any important records pertaining to your search terms. 

If you need assistance building a search strategy using truncation, please contact the Reference Desk for support:

Reference Desk telephone: 903.566.7343

Reference Desk email: library@uttyler.edu

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