CAB Thesaurus 2017 edition published online

The widely acclaimed CAB Thesaurus has received a major update for the 2017 edition, making it easier to access the world’s largest source of terminology covering the applied life sciences. The search tool now provides a controlled vocabulary resource approaching 2.7 million descriptive terms.

CAB Thesaurus content has increased significantly since the 2016 edition. The updated version, with 2,651,201 terms, includes 166,395 distinct concepts (preferred terms) and 132,109 synonyms, as well as translations of these from English into ten European languages. These improvements make CAB Thesaurus the largest of its type in existence with at least twice the content of similar resources.

A number of important additions and revisions ensure the search tool remains relevant for various research applications. One of the biggest updates included adding another 800 taxonomic names of invasive plants in addition to the more than 2,000 names added in 2016. Similarly 600 medical terms were added to improve indexing of Global Health content with a focus on neoplasms, medicinal drugs, and metabolic markers related to disease. In total, over 14,700 new terms were added.

New structural and organisational features have been added to increase its utility.

Significant effort was directed to addressing the demands of CABI’s award-winning Plantwise food security programme and the open access Invasive Species Compendium, improving the searchability of these new knowledge bases, as well as CABI’s traditional database products.

CAB Thesaurus is a key tool for academic, corporate and government librarians, who need to navigate, retrieve and index vast amounts of data in agriculture and human health. Users of CABI’s CAB Abstracts, Global Health and related CABI products regularly license the tool for cataloguing and organising in-house databases, as well as managing intranets.

Continuing from last year’s work, a second round of updates to the grass family completed the revision of the entire monocots using the APG III (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group version 3) classification system. Looking forwards, a start was made to revising the dicot plants using the more current APG IV system of classification; a large project estimated to take at least two years to complete.

CAB Thesaurus is available in English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish. CAB Thesaurus is also available for licensing.

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