Truncation uses an asterisk ( * ) or other symbols such as !, ?, or # to search for multiple forms of the same root word. (Look for the database help page if you are unsure what symbols it uses.) For example:
A wildcard is a symbol that takes the place of an unknown character or set of characters. Commonly used wildcards are the asterisk ( * ) and the question mark ( ? ). (Look for the database help page if you are unsure what symbols it uses.)
The question mark represents only one unknown character. For example:
The asterisk can represent more than one character. For example:
The Jstor search pictured below is intended to find sources that discuss illustrated editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, illustrat* is used to search for sources that include illustrate, illustration, illustrator, illustrating, and illustrated.
In this International Political Science Abstracts example pictured below, a wildcard is being used because of the difference between the American spelling, labor, and the British spelling, labour. By using the wildcard both versions will be searched.