Skip to Main Content

How To - Search JSTOR: Searching for Multiple Spellings of a Word

Searching for Multiple Spellings of a Word

Using the tilde symbol: You can find words with spellings similar to your search term by using the tilde (~) symbol at the end of a search term. For example, ti:dostoyevsky~ helps find items with dostoyevsky in the item title field, as well as variant spellings like dostoevsky, dostoievski, dostoevsky, dostoyevski, dostoevskii, dostoevski, etc. Note: This way of searching encompasses a very large number of words. Narrowing this kind of search to the item title or another field is recommended. The first letter always remains the same.

Wildcards: Wildcards take the place of one or more characters in a search term. A question mark is used for single character searching. An asterisk is used for multiple character searching. Wildcards are used to search for alternate spellings and variations on a root word. Wildcard characters cannot be used in place of the first letter of a word or within an exact phrase search. For example:

wom?n finds the words woman, women, womyn,
bird* finds bird, birding, birdman, birds, and other words that start with bird
organi?ation finds organization or organisation
behavior* searches for behavior, behavioral, behaviorist, behaviorism, or behaviorally

You can combine search terms containing wild cards (wom?n AND "science education") and they may be used in a field search: au:sm?th or ti:shakespeare*