7.5 Truncation and phrase searching

Most catalogues and databases allow you to use truncation or wildcards to retrieve variations on a search term, where a word ending or a letter within a word is replaced by a symbol. These are known as truncation or wildcard symbols. Phrase searching allows you to search for particular words in a particular order. Most phrase searches should be in quotations.

For example :

theor* would retrieve theory or theorise or theories or theoretical or theoretically or theorised, etc. Note possible spelling variations theorise or theorize. Both of these would be picked up by the use of truncation.

wom?n will locate either woman or women.

“climate change” would retrieve this exact phrase climate change

Symbols can vary between catalogues and databases. Use the Help information to find out if you should use *, !, $, or # for truncating.

The University of Sydney Library catalogue uses the examples given above.