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A Guide to Journal Articles

Database - Shortcuts

The asterisk symbol * can be used in two ways as a searching shortcut.


This allows you to search for variations of one word without having to write each word out independently. Simply write out the root word and add the truncation symbol at the end.

  • Most databases use the * as a truncation symbol but this may vary according to the database, so if you are unsure look up truncation in the database menu.



Searches: addict, addiction, addictive, addicted and addicting

  • Make sure your root word is concrete enough to only bring back related results.


This allows you to search words that have a different character in the middle of a word rather than a shared root.



Searches: woman and women

  • For relevant results only use wildcards when looking at variations of the same word.

Quotation Marks

Putting quotation marks around a phrase in your search string will make sure that your results come back relevant. Quotation marks will search your phrase as a concept as opposed to individual words.


"North America"

Searches: North America

North America

Searches: North America, South America, America, north and so forth

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