Truncation symbols may vary by database; common symbols include: * and ?
Similar to truncation, wildcards substitute a symbol for one letter of a word.
This is useful if a word is spelled in different ways, but still has the same meaning.
wom!n = woman, women
colo?r = color, colour
Different databases interpret searches differently. A common variation is how databases recognize phrases. Some assume that words typed next to each other should be searched as phrases while others automatically put a Boolean AND between your search terms, requiring that all the words be present, but not necessarily adjacent to each other.
Most databases allow you to specify that adjacent words be searched as phrases.
Using parentheses or quotes around search words is a common way to do phrase searching, but not all databases or search engines use them.
Example: "genetic engineering"
Hint: It is often very easy to do phrase searching from the Advanced Search in a database.
In many databases you can view your search history. This is important because it can keep you from duplicating an unsuccessful search, allow you to combine searches, and track your successful search attempts.
You can also set up alerts so the database will alert you to new articles/resources that match one of your searches.