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How to Write a Literature Review: Truncation

This guide will assist in the development and structure for writing a literature review in a health sciences discipline

Truncation basics

  • Truncation is used with root words to express multiple endings
    • Example: 
      • cold*
      • would find cold, colder, coldest
  • Wildcards are used within words to find words spelled differently but have the same meaning,
    • Example:
      • labo?r
      • would find labor or labour
  • Truncation and wildcards vary from database to database. Check the database Help page to find out what to use in your search.
  • Common truncation/wildcard symbols include: *, #, ?, $, !. You must find what symbol each database uses and how they use that symbol, you may not be getting the results you expect if you don't do this.

Warning: when using truncation make sure to use enough of the root word to express your idea, use too little and you will get bad results.

Example:

If you are looking for articles on therapy use 

therap*

This finds therapy, therapist, therapeutics...

Don't use

the*

This will find therapy words but also theology, thermal, thespian...

 

consultation

Consult a Health Sciences Librarian

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Neil John Maclean Health Sciences Library (University of Manitoba) --- ph. 204-789-3342 | healthlibrary@umanitoba.ca