Joker
Truncation & Wildcards (*, ?)

Many databases allow you to use a symbol to replace a letter or more in a word. Added to the stem of a word, it will find that stem plus anything that comes after it. Used in the middle of the word, it can help with variant or unknown spellings. The symbol used depends upon the index, database, or Web search engine you are using.

The following example is for the database, Scopus.

Use a question mark (?) to replace a single character.
burn? will return records with the words burn, burns, or burnt. You do not have to use the question mark to retrieve plurals of words. Scopus does that automatically.
wom?n will return either woman, women, or womyn.
Use an asterisk (*) as a multi-character wildcard to replace characters anywhere in a word. (it replaces zero (0) or more characters.)
environ* will return records on environment, environments, environmental.
h*emoglobin . will return records on hemoglobin, haemoglobin and even hemidemiphosphorylmontotremoglobin, (if it is used in an article).
back