Searching the CAB Thesaurus -- Descriptors Field

This search aid allows you to select one or more controlled terms from the CAB Thesaurus to add to your search query.


Find Option

  1. Enter a word or phrase in the text field. Booleans (AND, OR, NOT) and wildcards (* ?) are permitted.

  2. Click the Find button to go to a list of terms that contain the characters that you entered. For example, if you enter the term geolog*, the product finds Geologists, Geology, and other descriptors.

  3. Click the Add button to select a descriptor from the list. The selected item is added to the text box at the bottom of the page.

  4. Click OK to transfer the selected descriptor(s) to the Descriptors field on the Search page.

    If you are performing an Advanced Search, the product transfers the selected code(s) to the field box on the Advanced Search page along with the correct field tag. For example, DE=(geologists OR geology).


Browse Descriptors Hierarchy Option

  • Click the View in Hierarchy View in Hierarchy icon icon to view the term in the context of the thesaurus hierarchy.

  • Click the View Thesaurus Details View Thesarus Details icon icon to view details about the thesaurus term. These details include references to broader terms, narrower terms, and related terms.

  • Click the Expand Term Expand iconicon to display narrower thesaurus terms.


Controlled Terms in the CAB Thesaurus

The CAB Thesaurus is a list of controlled terms called descriptors, that we use to index records.

Click Thesaurus Details icon to view thesaurus details for any term in the thesaurus. Thesaurus details may include any of the following fields depending on the term.


Thesaurus Term

The main term in the thesaurus.


American Form

The American non-preferred spelling of a descriptor. For example:

[descriptor: defence]


Use For

Use the thesaurus term in place of these non-preferred terms. For example:

data logging
[descriptor: data collection]


Broader Term(s)

Descriptor(s) that are at the next higher level in the thesaurus hierarchy. For example:

blood proteins

[descriptor: haemoglobin]


Narrower Term(s)

Descriptor(s) that are at the next lower level in the thesaurus hierarchy. For example:

betel chewing
tobacco chewing
tobacco smoking
[descriptor: habits]


Preferred Term(s)

Descriptor(s) to be used in place of the thesaurus term. For example:

meat substitutes
[descriptor: meat analogues]


Related Term(s)

Descriptor(s) related to the thesaurus term. For example:

aquatic animals
aquatic organisms
aquatic plants

[descriptor: hydrobiology]



The preferred term if the thesaurus term is a non-preferred term or non-preferred terms if the thesaurus term is the preferred term.


Latin Name

Scientific name for a plant or crop with a common name. For example:

Prunus dulcis
[descriptor: almonds]


Common Name

Common name equivalent for the scientific name for a common crop plant. For example:

[descriptor: Prunus dulcis]


Enzyme Number

Notation for the enzyme from the International Union of Biochemistry Enzyme Commission. For example:
[descriptor: dextranase]


Chemical Abstracts Registry Number

Chemical Abstracts Registry Number. For example:

[descriptor: decamethonium]


Scope Notes

Scope notes and/or history notes for the thesaurus term. For example:

Initial processing of fresh produce, generally by chopping, cutting, peeling, shredding or slicing

from 1999

[descriptor: minimal processing]


About Descriptors

Descriptors are assigned to records in CABI by subject specialists to represent the content of the source documents.

The Add button appears to the left of each descriptor. If the Add button is missing, the term is a non-preferred term, and it should not be used to search the Descriptors field.


Search Tips

Click Thesaurus Details icon to view the thesaurus details of a non-preferred term so you can find the descriptor to use in its place.

Select terms from the thesaurus to search the Descriptors field and the Topic field.

Error including document: A document with id 2013-TRS does not exist.