Searching the FSTA Thesaurus

This search aid allows you to select one or more thesaurus terms to add to your search query. The product lists all the thesaurus terms and non-descriptors in the thesaurus, along with history notes, scope notes, and related terms.


Find Option

  1. Enter a word or phrase in the text field. Booleans (AND, OR, and 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 beer as the search term, the product finds Alcohol Low Beer, Draught Beer, Ginger Beer, and several other thesaurus terms.

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

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

    If you are performing an Advanced Search, the product transfers the selected term(s) to the field box on the Advanced Search page along with the correct field tag. For example, DE=(Alcohol Low Beer).


Browsing the Thesaurus Hierarchy

  • Click Expand Term icon to the left of a term to expand the hierarchy and reveal narrower terms. If the symbol does not appear next to a term, then there are no narrower terms. Click Collapse Term icon to collapse the hierarchy.

  • Click View in Hierarchy icon to view a term in context of the thesaurus hierarchy. By viewing the hierarchy, you can find related terms that are broader or narrower.

  • Click View in Thesaurs icon to view the details for any term in the thesaurus.


Are You Getting Unexpected Terms in Your Search?

The FSTA Thesaurus may sometimes return unexpected terms. For example, if you enter wheat, the thesaurus term ATTA will appear in the selection list. This is because the scope note for this term is "Indian wholemeal wheat flour" and it contains the term that you entered.



Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) are treated as regular alphabetic characters. Do not use them in your search.


Glossary Terms

See our glossary for a definition of the following terms.

  • Broader Term
  • Descriptor
  • History Note
  • Keywords
  • Narrower Term
  • Non-descriptor
  • Related Term
  • Scope Note
  • Thesaurus Term
  • Used For
  • USE