Wildcards represent unknown characters. They are valid only in
English-language search queries.
The asterisk (*) represents any group of characters, including no character.
The question mark (?) represents any single character.
The dollar sign ($) represents zero or one character.
Right-Hand and Internal Truncation
- At least three characters must precede the wildcard in Title and Topic
searches. For example, zeo* is acceptable but
ze* is not.
Wildcards may be used inside a word. For example, odo$r
finds odor and odour.
- You may use different wildcards in one term: l?chee$
matches lichee, lichees, lychee, lychees.
You cannot use wildcards after special characters (/ @ #) and punctuation (.
, : ; !).
You cannot use wildcards in a publication year search. For example,
2007 is acceptable 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 the company called E*Trade.
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.
You can use left-hand truncation in the following search fields in all
Web of Science product databases: Topic, Title, and Identifying Codes.
In Topic and Title searches, you must enter at least three characters after
the wildcard when using left-hand truncation. For example: *bio
- Left-hand truncation is not supported in Author and Cited Author searches.
In Identifying Code searches, you must enter at least one character after the
wildcard when using left-hand truncation. For example: *2307
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=hydro 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