In EDS, you can use three types of wildcard characters in your search terms. The question mark (?) matches exactly one letter. The pound or hash sign (#) matches zero or one letter. The asterisk (*) matches multiple letters. Use wildcards to create searches where there are unknown characters, multiple spellings or various endings. None of the wildcards can be used as the first character in a search term.
To use the ? wildcard, enter your search terms and replace each unknown character with a ?. For example, type ne?t to find all records containing neat, nest or next.
Trailing question marks (?) will be automatically stripped from all words in a query, as shown below:
- Appendicitis: is surgery the best option? --> Appendicitis: is surgery the best option
- Whose Justice? Which Rationality? --> Whose Justice Which Rationality
- k??? --> k
To use the # wildcard, enter your search terms and place # where an alternate spelling might contain an extra character. For example, type colo#r to find all citations containing color or colour.
Trailing # will be automatically stripped from all words with a prefix less than 3 characters.
- c# --> c
- na# --> na
- ddd# --> ddd# (no stripping, prefix greater than 2 characters)
Note: When using the pound/hash (#) wildcard, plurals and possessives of that term are not searched. For example, when running a search for the term colo#r, the terms "colors" and "colours" will not be searched (which they are by default when using the singular "color" or "colour" without a wildcard operator).
Asterisk wildcard (also called Truncation symbol)
To use the asterisk (*) wildcard, enter the root of a search term and replace the ending with an *. For example, type comput* to find the words computer or computing. The asterisk (*) may also be used between words to match any word. For example, 'a midsummer * dream' will return results that contain the exact phrase, 'a midsummer night’s dream.'
Special cases for advanced users
If you want to use a question mark as a wildcard at the end of a word, you need to precede the ? with # as shown below:
- boss#? --> boss#? (no stripping, preceding # wildcard)
- k??#? --> k??#? (no stripping, preceding # wildcard)
To use # at the end of a prefix less than 3 characters, you need to immediately preceded it by another # or ?.
- d## --> d## (no stripping, preceding # wildcard)
- d?# --> d?# (no stripping, preceding ? wildcard)
- dd?# --> dd?# (no stripping, preceding ? wildcard)