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FAQ: NLM® LocatorPlus® - Wildcard Characters

Question: Is it possible to use wildcards or other special characters when I search LocatorPlus?


Wildcard characters and other special characters you can use are:

Question mark (?)

  • The question mark can substitute for zero, one, or more characters at the beginning, middle, or end of the term.
  • The question mark wildcard does not work in Z39.50 searches of LocatorPlus.

Example | Retrieves

neuro?pharmacology neuropharmacology, neuropsychopharmacology
h?ematology hematology or haematology
?clinic clinic, polyclinic, multiclinic, teleclinic, etc.
clinic? clinic, clinics, clinical, clinician, clinicians, etc.

Percent (%)

  • The percent sign can be used at the beginning, middle, or end of a search term.
  • Each percent sign represents one character in the term.
  • The percent sign wildcard does not work in Z39.50.

Example | Retrieves

wom%n woman or women
clinic% clinics, clinica, clinico, etc.
clinic%%% clinician, clinicals, etc.

Asterisk (*)

  • Use an asterisk before a term to weight it as important. Example: *therapy
  • Note: You cannot use the asterisk as a wildcard in LocatorPlus because it is used in Voyager to increase the relevance of a term.

Plus sign (+) - The term is an essential term. Example: +leukemia

Quotation marks ("") - Use double quotes to enclose a phrase. Example: "popular works"

Example of Keyword Anywhere search using several special characters: child? "popular works" +leukemia *therapy

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