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The are two wildcard or truncation characters which can be used searching the World Biographical Information System Online, when you are not sure of how a search term in spelled.

The * (asterisk) and ? (question mark) are used to search for words or numbers sharing a similar pattern. They replace alphabetical and numerical characters.

The * (standing for any number of characters) is placed at the end of the term’s root. The search retrieves all words sharing the same root. For example, a search in the field occupation for the term archi* retrieves biographical records that contain the people with the occupation architect, Architekt, architetto, and architecte. Another note on truncation searching: if too broad a search is used, there will not be any results. If you are searching for the name Pablo Picasso, a search using Pab* Picasso will work, where as a search using P* Picasso will not.

The ? is used to replace exactly one character within a word to retrieve various forms of that word. For example, the term wom?n used in the bibliographical keyword search retrieves bibliographies that contain either woman or women; and psych????y matches either psychology or psychiatry but not psychotherapy.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The wilcard characters may not be used in date fields - Year of Birth, Year of Death, Year Cited, Publication Year.

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