Truncation & Wildcards
Using special symbols in combination with words or word parts allows you to improve the quality and number of hits you receive with a search.
This feature of electronic searching will increase the number of hits in your search results. You search the stem or root of a word and the search engine or database automatically locates records with all words that begin with that string of characters.
Terminal or End Truncation
A symbol at the end of a word stem provides for all variants on the word stem. The most commonly used symbol is the asterisk (*).
For example, a search for
educate, educating, education, educational, educator, educators, etc.
A symbol within a word provides for all possible variants inside a word or word stem. The most commonly used symbol for internal truncation is # or sometimes ?. Check with the resource you are using to see which symbols it uses.
woman and women
Look at the help pages for the database you are using to determine the truncation symbols. Most systems provide truncation; some provide only simple plurals.