Advanced Searching of CAB Abstracts with WinSPIRS In the Simple Searching session we looked at single and multi-word searching of CAB Abstracts using the Free-Text index. In a typical CAB Abstracts database record, there may be twenty or more separate data fields. The Free-Text index has been compiled from the words that appear in 16 of these fields. The list includes. English Item Title TI Original Item Title OT Personal Authors AU Editors ED Corporate Authors CA Author’s Address AD Source SO Publisher PB Abstract AB Descriptors DE Organism Descriptors OD Geographic Descriptors GE CABI Indexing Fields Identifiers ID Broad Terms BT CAS Registry Numbers RN CABICODES CC CABICODE Headings CD The Free-Text index is the default index and its use will retrieve the maximum number of records. However, because it includes fields like the Title and Abstract, it is also likely to produce the highest number of irrelevant records, simply because the search terms that have been used appear in the record without any specific meaning. As an example, you may be searching for important papers about the breeding of maize but, by searching for Maize and Breeding in the Free-text index, you may get papers about the breeding of cattle fed on maize. In order to improve the quality of your search (its relevance) it is often better to restrict your search to a specific data field like the Title field or the Organism Descriptor field. This is know as Field Searching. Field Searching: All the fields that appear in the Free-Text index, shown above, are individually searchable using field tags at the end of the search string as in the example below. South East Asia in TI Note the use of the “in” operator followed by the required Field Tag (TI). The in operator simply instructs the search system to search for the term in the specified index; in this case, the Title field If required, multiple indexes can be specified as in the following example: Cattle Breeding in TI,DE Here the field tags are simply separated by a comma (,). Title Fields: All CAB ABSTRACTS records have an English Item title (TI). This is the English version of the title of the article that has been abstracted. Most of the original articles will be written in English so the TI is the title of the original article. If the original article is written in a non-English language, the TI field will contain an English translation of the original title. Also, for non-English articles that are written in a “Roman” script, an original language title will be provided as the OT field. For example, you may see a French article with a French OT and an English translation of this title in the TI field. Both fields can be searched either individually or together. The Title fields are particularly useful if you are searching for a reference to a paper where you know the title but you don’t have all the reference data. Author/Editor Fields: There are two types of Author; individuals, who are often referred to as personal authors, and Organizations like the World Health Organisation, who would be referred to as Corporate Authors. Personal Authors are searched using the AU field. Editor’s names are included in the ED field. a. Personal Authors (AU): The AU field (Personal Authors) actually includes data from three separate fields. When CABI creates a record for a paper written by a personal author or authors, the policy is to include all the names of the authors. When adding author’s names to a record they are added as Family Name, First Initial. Second Initial. e.g. Smith, T. A. These are entered into the Author Field (AU). Many authors’ names fit this format but many do not. So, for names that do not fit this standard pattern, CABI will often include variations of an author’s name in another field called Author Variants. Occasionally author names will be included in the text of an article and, when these are deemed to be important, they are included in a field called Additional Authors (AA). All three Author fields are searched in the field AU. When searching in the AU field, you can search for the full name, if known, or you can use truncation Smith-T-A in AU Smith-T* in AU Smith in AU b. Editor Names (ED): Editors’ names are handled in exactly the same way as Author names. There is an Editor field and an Editor Variants field which are combined, for searching purposes, in the Editor field (ED). Editors’ names are searched in the same way as Personal Authors names. Smith-T-A in ED Smith-T* in ED Smith in ED An alternative way to search for names would be to look-up an Author or Editor name in the Free-Text index using the Index screen, accessed from the “Index” tab at the top of the WinSPIRS search screen. Simply type the name that you are looking for, e.g. Smith, and ‘click’ on the Go to Term button to display a list of alphabetically related terms. From the displayed list, any name can be immediately searched by simply ‘clicking’ on the name. Multiple selections can also be made by ‘checking’ the boxes at the side of each required name before ‘clicking’ on the Search Marked button. Note that this method of searching names does not distinguish between Authors and Editors. This Index function can be used to display the various search indexes that can then be browsed for terms that you might wish to include in your search profile. b. Corporate Authors: The names of organizations that publish papers are entered in to the Corporate Author field (CA). This is searched using the CA field tag: World health organization in CA WHO in CA Because it is not possible to apply strict rules for adding Corporate Authors to a record, it is often necessary to search for several variations as in the above example. This search could have been done as a multi-term search using the OR operator. World Health Organization in CA OR WHO in CA Note: A useful tip when searching for many terms in the same record field is to use brackets and place the field tag at the end, outside the brackets: (World Health Organization OR WHO) in CA If you are searching for a lot of terms, this handy tip can save time. Index Terms or “Descriptors”: If you are looking only for important papers on a particular subject where you want a high level of relevance, you should restrict your search to one or more of the CABI indexing or descriptors fields. Every record on the database is indexed with terms that describe all the important concepts within a paper. The index terms maybe be added to one of 5 different indexing fields. The indexing fields that CABI uses are: Organism Descriptors (OD) Geographic Descriptors (GE) Descriptors (DE) Broad Terms (BT) Identifiers (ID) All the terms appearing in the Organism Descriptors, Geographic Descriptors, Descriptors and Broad Terms fields are controlled by the CAB Thesaurus, CABI’s controlled indexing authority. The advantage of having a controlled vocabulary is that users need only use one term to search for a concept rather than using lots of terms. The Organism Descriptors field is used for animal and plant names, the Geographic Descriptors field is used for country and other geographic names and the Descriptors field is used for all the “other” terms that are neither animal, plant or geographic. The entries in these three fields are added to the record manually by the CABI Indexers. Because CAB ABSTRACTS is a scientific database, it is very important to remember that most animal and plant concepts will be indexed with their scientific names. All animals, except for commonly managed livestock like Cattle, Sheep, Goats, etc., are indexed with their scientific names. For example, if you want to search for papers about Beetles, you would need to search for the scientific name Coleoptera, rather than Beetles. However, plants are indexed with both their scientific and their common names so the searching of plants is often easier. In general, Index terms are added specifically to a concept within a paper. If a paper is a general paper about Beetles, for example, it will be indexed with the Organism Descriptor term Coleoptera but, if the paper is about a specific beetle species, it will be indexed with the species name and not the word Coleoptera. In the past, this policy has made searching for broad concepts like “beetles” very difficult because, in order to find every record, the user needed to search not only for Coleoptera but had to include all the specific names of individual beetles. This is clearly a difficult if not impossible task. The problem was solved several years ago when CABI began using the CAB Thesaurus to add additional index terms automatically to a new field call the Broad Term field. Because the CAB Thesaurus is hierarchically structured, all the terms are included in a hierarchy with all their broader terms above them and all their narrower terms below them. Since 1984, the electronic CAB Thesaurus has been included in the database production system and has been used to automatically add broad terms from the CAB Thesaurus to the Broad Term field. This is only done for animal names, plant names and geographic terms, i.e. all the terms that appear in the Organism Descriptors field and the Geographic Descriptors field. If we take our example of Coleoptera, what this means is that every time a beetle species name appears in the Organism Descriptors field the broader term Coleoptera is automatically added to the Broad Term (BT) field. What this means is that a user can search for the term Coleoptera in the BT field: Coleoptera in BT … and the system will retrieve all the records that have been indexed with individual beetle names. Search examples: Cattle in OD (France or Germany or Spain) in GE Rice in OD and Irrigation in DE and South East Asia in GE,BT In a complex search, with lots of terms that may appear in different index fields as in the last example above, the WinSPIRS software offers an extra field tag, SU, which combines the DE, OD and GE fields and searches them all at once. This can make life a little easier, as you don’t have to remember which tag is used for which field. It can also reduce the amount of typing if you use brackets as in the following example: (Rice AND Irrigation AND south east asia) in SU The last indexing field, not yet mentioned, is the Identifier field (ID). This field is used for non-controlled index terms; terms that do not appear in the CAB Thesaurus. This field is important for papers that discus new concepts that, currently, do not have their own Thesaurus term. This would include new chemicals, new species, etc. The record has to be indexed with an appropriate term but, because it is not in the Thesaurus, this term can not be added to the DE, OD or GE fields. It would be rejected. Instead, it is added to the Identifier field where it can be searched using the in ID tag. Clearly if you are not sure whether a term is an ID or a Thesaurus term, you need to search both fields. This is most simply done by searching as in the following example: Chemical name in SU,ID CABICODES: In addition to adding index terms to a record, broad concepts are also indexed with a classification system known as CABICODES. The CABICODES are a hierarchical list of classification codes that divide the subject coverage of the CAB Abstracts database into 23 major sections. Each section then includes a series of codes that divides that subject into more specific subjects. The codes themselves are typically used to code for subjects which would be difficult to describe with keywords alone. The area of Forestry, for example, has its own set of codes as shown below. KK000 Forestry, Forest Products and Agroforestry (General) KK100 Forests and Forest Trees (Biology and Ecology) KK110 Silviculture and Forest Management KK120 Forest Mensuration and Management (Discontinued March 2000) KK130 Forest Fires KK140 Protection Forestry (Discontinued March 2000) KK150 Other Land Use (Discontinued March 2000) KK160 Ornamental and Amenity Trees KK500 Forest Products and Industries (General) KK510 Wood Properties, Damage and Preservation KK515 Logging and Wood Processing KK520 Wood Utilization and Engineered Wood Products KK530 Chemical and Biological Processing of Wood KK540 Non-wood Forest Products KK600 Agroforestry and Multipurpose Trees; Community, Farm and Social Forestry All database records have at least one CABICODE but, according to the coverage, two or more codes are common. The codes are added in addition to the index descriptors already described, not instead of them. The CABICODES can be searched just like any other keyword, but using the tag CC as in the following examples: KK160 in CC AND urban development in DE KK* in CC AND Management in DE AND Europe in GE,BT Note the use of truncation in the second example. The CABICODEs also have associated headings, as shown in the list given on the previous page. These headings, as well as being part of the Free-Text index, can be separately searched using the field tag CD. A full list of the CABICODES included in CAB Abstracts, can be found by choosing the Guide option and then CABI Fields, from the Help menu at the top of the screen. Simply click on the CABICODES link through to the list. The CAB Thesaurus: The CAB Thesaurus is provided, within WinSPIRS as an integrated search guide. You can use it to check for the correct terms to use in your search profile. You can also use it to automatically select terms and add them to you search. To browse the CAB Thesaurus, simply click on the Thesaurus button at the top of the screen . This will open the Thesaurus browse screen shown below: Type in the term that you want to look up in the box at the top of the screen and click the Look up button. In the example below we have looked up the word Fertilizers. The screen is now showing us a “Permuted Index” that contains an alphabetical list of all the individual words that appear in the Thesaurus along with all the Thesaurus terms that contain that term. It is a way of bringing together all the terms with a common “theme”. You can now scroll up and down this list until you find the Thesaurus terms of interest. I have chosen Nitrogen Fertilizers for the following example Click on the term of interest to highlight it and then click on the Term Information button to view the Thesaurus hierarchy as shown on the next screen shot. This screen shows the Nitrogen Fertilizers hierarchy. The bottom screen shows the term plus one level of Broad Terms above and one level of Narrower Terms below. You will notice that the term itself and all its Narrower Terms are highlighted in bold. This is because the Explode feature is currently selected on the right of the screen. This is a very useful feature as it allows you to select all these terms and either search them immediately or add them to a search list which you can build with more and more terms from the Thesaurus. With the explode feature turned off, individual terms may be highlighted and either searched or added to the list. If we click the Search Now button with the explode feature switched on, the system will return to the search screen and search for all these words in turn and then combine the results together using the OR operator to create a single set of records containing one or more of these terms without the need to type any of the in manually. By navigating around the Thesaurus and building up a search list, you can perform some very complex searches with many search terms very quickly and efficiently. You can navigate down through the various levels of hierarchy by clicking on any of the Narrower Terms in the list and looking up their Term Information. The Thesaurus is a very powerful search tool and it is worth spending some time working out how to use it. Result of a Thesaurus Search on Nitrogen Fertilizers: Limit Fields: So far we have looked at some of the individual fields that make up the Free-Text index. In addition to these, there are some fields referred to as Limit fields. These are: Publication Year (PY) - Year of publication of the original article. Language of Text (LA) - Language of the original text. Language of Summaries (LS) - Language of original Author’s summary. Publication Type (PT) - Type of original publication , e.g. book, journal, etc. Update Code (UD) – date the record was added to the CAB ABSTRACTS. These fields can be searched using either the = operator or the in operator as in the following examples: 1999 in PY LA = French They can also be used as search limits by clicking on the Limit… button to display the following dialogue box: This Limit option is used at the end of your search when you have found a set of records but wish to refine it by language or date of year of publication, etc. The dialogue box is relatively self explanatory. Having created your set of records, perhaps on the irrigation of rice in South East Asia, you may want to restrict the records that you want to print to those that have been published since 1999. Using this limit option, you simply scroll to the date you want, click on one of the options, Equals, Greater Than, etc. and then click OK. This will create a new set of records containing references to only papers published with your specified data parameters. The other Limits are applied in exactly the same way.