Searching the Descriptors Field

Descriptors are preferred terms assigned by subject specialists to represent the content of a source document.

Enter Descriptors to search the following fields within a record.

  • Descriptors
  • Organism Descriptors
  • Geographic Location


Searching for Broad Terms

Remember that Broad Descriptors are automatically assigned to records indexed with Organism Descriptors and Geographic Location descriptors. Therefore, the descriptor insects is automatically assigned to records that have been indexed with any of the thousands of names for insect species found in the CAB Thesaurus.

For example, if you enter insects as a search term in the Descriptors field, your search will be very broad since every record that has been indexed with the name of an insect will have the term insects in the Broad Descriptors field. For example:

  • Aquatic insects
  • Edible insects
  • Predatory insects
  • Social insects
  • And so on


Descriptors Search Examples
  • Lactobacillus
  • woodlands OR grasslands
  • Siberia AND wheat
  • Curcumin AND nitric oxide
  • Nitric oxide NOT curcumin
  • Nitr* AND curcumin


Search Tips
  • Consult the CAB Thesaurus to find the correct spelling of descriptors.

  • Use descriptors in the Topic field.

  • Some descriptors found in the CAB Thesaurus may have a different spelling. For example, as a descriptor, waste water is always two words. However, the term may appear as wastewater in a record's title or abstract.

  • Some descriptors are always hyphenated (for example, T-DNA). However, the term may appear as TDNA in a record's title or abstract.