Wildcards can be used in all search fields that allow words and phrases. They
can be used in a search query to represent unknown characters.
The asterisk (*) represents any group of characters, including no character.
The question mark (?) represents any single character.
The dollar sign ($) represents zero or one character.
General Rules about Wildcards
You can use left-hand truncation in the following search fields in all
Web of Knowledge product databases: Topic, Title, Accession Number, and
In Topic and Title searches, you must enter at least three characters after
the wildcard when using left-hand truncation.
In Accession Number and Identifying Code searches, you must enter at least
one character after the wildcard when using left-hand truncation.
In Topic and Title searches, you must enter at least three characters before
a wildcard when using right-hand truncation.
In Author searches, you must enter at least two characters before a wildcard
when using right-hand truncation.
Wildcards may be used inside a word. For example, odo$r finds odor and odour.
You cannot use wildcards after special characters (/ @ #) and punctuation (.
, : ; !).
You cannot use wildcards in a publication year search. For example,
2007 is OK but 200* is not.
You cannot search on a wildcard if it appears in a word or name. For example,
the search TS=E*Trade OR TS="E*Trade" will not return records
about this company.
You cannot use the dollar sign ($) in quoted searches.
Avoid using wildcards in search queries with very broad truncation matches.
For example, a search on UT=*2 or UT=*2* or
UT=*22 or UT=*22* may return incomplete
results (or no results) because there are simply too many matches in the product
Note: Left-hand truncation automatically turns off
lemmatization. A search for a term such as *valves returns
bivalves but not bivalve. Because this occurs, you will not get plural and
singular forms of search terms resulting in fewer records. By adding right-hand
truncation to your search, the product returns more records. For
example, *valve* returns both bivalve and bivalves.
Wildcards, Hyphens, and Apostrophes
The search engine treats hyphens (-) and apostrophes (') in names as spaces.
AU=O Brien returns the same number of results as
Try searching for names with and without a space. For example,
AU=OBrien OR AU=O Brien returns both variants
of the name.
When searching for hyphenated query terms, enter the term with and without
wildcards. For example:
TS=hydro-power returns records that contain the terms
hydro-power and hydro power.
TS=hydro*power returns records that contain the terms
hydropower and hydroelectricpower.
TS=hyrdro power returns records that contain the terms hydro
and power anywhere in the record, such as hydro-power, hydro-electrical power,
and hydro-mechanical power.
Asterisk (*) Examples
Question Mark (?) Example
Dollar Sign ($) Examples