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Search Smarter: Finding Information in Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences: Step 2: Truncation & Phrasing

What is truncation and phrase searching?

Truncation is the shortening of a keyword so that other keywords that start with the same group of letters (or stem) will be automatically retrieved. A symbol is used, often an asterisk *  to command the database to truncate a term

e.g. Australi* will retrieve Australia, Australian, Australians etc. 

Phrase searching ensures that all of the words in the search are found together and in the correct order. For example, if we wanted to search for Australian society, we often need to put double quotation marks (“ ”) around the phrase to force the database or search engine to find that exact phrase e.g. "Australian society".

Note: You can not use truncation and phrase searching together.


Phrase searching

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country