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Research Process

These pages offer an introduction to the research process at a very general level.


Truncation lets you search for a word that could have multiple endings. The symbol for truncation is usually an * at the point where the spelling of the word could change. For example, PTSD AND music* would find articles with the terms PTSD and music/musical/musician/musicians/musicality in them. Truncation is very useful when you know one of your search terms has several endings, but all of the variations represent basically the same idea. Using truncation will help you complete your search faster because you will not have to manually type in and search every variation of the word.

Screenshot of Roadrunner Advanced Search with an example truncation search.

Wildcard Symbols

There are several wildcard symbols that can be used in several databases, such as EBSCOHost and ProQuest, to enhance your search string. 

Asterisk wildcard (*) - Is used between words where variations may be possible. Example: "responsibility * budgeting" can return results such as, "responsibility-centered budgeting" or "responsibility center budgeting"

Question mark wildcard (?) - Is used to replace an unknown character. Example: wom?n will return results for women or woman

See the links below to learn more about these symbols in specific databases. 

Searching 101 Part 4 Video

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