Q. What is a wild card and how do I use it?
Wildcards are symbols that you add to a search term to maximize your search results in library databases. A wildcard is usually a character that may be used in a search term to represent one or more other characters.
The two most commonly used wildcards are:
- An asterisk (*) may be used to specify the end of a root word, when it is referred to as "truncation." For example: typing educat* would tell the database to look for all possible endings = educate, educated, education, and educational.
- A question mark (?) may be used when there are variable spellings for a word, and you want to search for all variants at once. For example, searching for colo?r would return both color and colour.