CAB Abstracts advanced searching on WinSpirs - Advanced Searching

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					       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

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

           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


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

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.