Database Search Tips: Stop Words
Stop words are common words that databases ignore because they are so prevalent. That is, stop words are not indexed for searching in the database. Simply put, you shouldn't use them when you search databases.
Stop words vary from database to database. You may wish to familiarize yourself with some of the stop words featured here, as they are probably stop words in other databases as well.
If you need to search using a word that is a stop word, use quotation marks to search it as a phrase. For example: "self in relation"
For assistance on avoiding the use of stop words in your searching, please contact your subject specialist librarian, or stop by the OSU Library Reference Desk.
ProQuest Stop Words
ProQuest ignores the following frequently-used words. To use them as part of a search phrase, enclose them with quotation marks: e.g. "the sound and the fury".
EBSCO Stop Words
Stop words vary by database in EBSCO, but the following represents some basic stop words:
OSU Library Catalog Stop Words
If the title of a book starts with A, An, or The, ignore the first word when searching for book titles.
Ignore foreign language words such as: al, el, l', la, der.