Friday, March 23, 2012

DISCOVER: better handling of question marks

It is now much easier to search DISCOVER for a title that ends in a question mark. For example book and article titles like:

Whose Justice? Which Rationality?
Appendicitis: is surgery the best option?

DISCOVER normally treats a question mark as a wildcard representing 'any single character,'. So searching for 'option?' would find 'options' but not 'option' itself. And that certainly isn't what you would want if you had pasted a title into DISCOVER to find the full-text online.

Now DISCOVER will ignore question marks at the end of a word, so the searches above will work as expected.

A question mark within a word will still mean 'any single character' so 'speciali?e' will find 'specialise' or 'specialize'.

And if you search EBSCOhost databases, a question mark is still interpreted as 'any single character' wther it is at the end of a word or not.

If you really want a question mark at the end of a word in a DISCOVER search to mean 'any single character' then there is a way to do it - see the FAQ.

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