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Getting better results with CAB Abstract

​CAB Abstracts, also called CAB or CABI, is the database that covers a wide range of subjects across the applied life sciences– from agriculture, the environment, and veterinary sciences. It records more than 10 million records from 120 countries in 50 languages, indexing over 10,000 academic journals, books, conference proceedings, and reports specially selected by our subject experts.

There are four ways to find information on CAB Direct: Keyword and Advanced searching, Browse all content, and CAB Thesaurus.

Keyword (or simple) searching is similar to using an internet search engine, where you type search terms then press Search. The Keyword search explores all indexed fields in the CAB Direct database. Search filters (or facets) help you narrow your search results. You can search using a single word or phrase. A search phrase must be surrounded by double quotes s as in the example “forest restoration”. To make a more accurate search you can use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to link your search terms.

Advanced search screen enables you to run complex search queries in multiple search boxes which you can link together with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT). Use the index field drop-down list to refine your advanced search by selecting the appropriate index field for your search terms. You can filter your search by database field, (e.g. article title, author name, publisher, etc.), date, document type, CABI product, etc.

Browse all content links enables you to browse the CAB Direct records by subject (using CABI codes), author name, or journal titles.

Use the CAB Thesaurus to search CABI’s controlled vocabulary of terms covering pure and life sciences, technology, and social sciences. The CAB Thesaurus will show what the indexing terms are for a topic. If you are having trouble finding ‘it’, check the thesaurus for other terms. There are also lists of corporate authors, ‘subjects geographic’ and ‘subjects organisms’.

You can check this link for a more detailed guideline on how to search in CAB abstract. For library assistance, you can contact CIFOR ICRAF library at