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Searching with stop words in EBSCO Discovery Service

In EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), stop words are generally disregarded by the search engine. For example, when you search for the word “the” by itself, no results should be returned.

There are some exceptions for searching stop words. For instance, "a" is a stop word for most databases but not for music databases, (example search: Piano Concerto A minor). And "p" is a stop word for most databases but not for medical databases, (example search: genome mapping P alba, P deltoides, P euramericana). So if either of those stop words are searched in an EDS profile that has music and medical databases, results will be returned.

Another exception is how stop words are treated in catalogs. In customer catalogs all words are indexed and searched. Words that are stop words in other EBSCO databases, and therefore ignored for indexing and searching, are not ignored in catalogs. For example, if you were to search for “to the lighthouse” in your catalog, you would notice that all results include the words “to” and “the” and “lighthouse,” but in other databases, which use stop words, you would get results for all records with hits on only the word “lighthouse.”

See the following table for clarification.

 

Search

Search applied to Catalogs 
(uses all words)

Search applied to non-Catalog resources
(excludes stop words)

to the lighthouse

to the lighthouse 

lighthouse 

the grapes of wrath 

the grapes of wrath 

grapes wrath 

the catcher in the rye 

the catcher in the rye 

catcher rye