I'm exploring the literature on microRNA, where it is common for the less utilised strand of the miRNA duplex to be referred to as the miRNA* strand.

However, I am experiencing some issue searching for literature sources, as the databases I use for my searches (Web of Science, Google Scholar) utilise an asterisk as part of the search syntax rather than part of the query itself. This leads to any search for "miRNA*" yielding every paper on miRNA in general.

I am getting by for now using alternate search terms and other papers references, however it would be excellent if someone knows how to tell these databases that the asterisk is part of the query and not syntax.

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    $\begingroup$ Regarding Google Scholar this answer should be relevant. Regarding WoS, this support document. In short: no luck. $\endgroup$ – Roland Jul 14 '20 at 12:10
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    $\begingroup$ I have not tried this (and it isn't really my field), but it should be possible to save search results to a file with a tool like this seoquake.com/index.html to give you a file of URLs. Then you could search for "miRNA", save those results, then write a program to check those sites for "miRNA*" using something like wget and grep. One of the programming sites might get you better info, since it's more a programming/web use question than specific to biology. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Jul 15 '20 at 16:43

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