The CAB Direct platform, which provides a single point of access to all of CABI’s databases, was rated as ‘highly recommended’ for undergraduates, researchers, faculty members, technical programme students, professionals and practitioners in the March 2017 issue of CHOICE magazine. We are proud to announce that the platform has now won a CHOICE magazine ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ award 2017.

CABI’s databases include CAB Abstracts (the leading English bibliographic information service providing access to the world’s applied life sciences literature) and Global Health (giving researchers and students unparalleled access to the world’s relevant public health research and practice).

CAB Direct now provides access to over 12 million bibliographic references (including more than 416,000 full-text articles) as well as conference papers and reports published in 120 countries.

CHOICE magazine’s editor and publisher, Mark Cummings, said the ‘Outstanding Academic Title’ awards recognise: ‘Outstanding works for their excellence in presentation and scholarship, the significance of their contribution to the field, their originality and value as an essential treatment of their subject, and significance in building undergraduate collections’.

Before launching the new CAB Direct platform in July 2016, CABI worked with development partners across academia and industry to design a platform around the way researchers work. CAB Direct has completely new features to help researchers get more out of the literature and has a more intuitive user experience.

The CHOICE review includes that: ‘Searching is intuitive and documents load quickly. The online CAB Thesaurus provides a controlled vocabulary of almost 2.5 million descriptive terms in English and all major European languages. A well-developed help guide enables researchers to enhance their skills in constructing search strategies. Researchers can organize their search activities in project files and highlight, annotate, and share them with others’.

Cristina Ashby, Head of Publishing Platforms at CABI, said, ‘CABI’s core mission is focused on using our expertise as a major publisher of scientific information to help solve problems in global agriculture and the environment. Global Health is also increasingly important to CABI. This is particularly important as we work towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – such as SDG4: Quality Education’.

Cristina continued ‘We’re delighted to receive this further recognition from CHOICE magazine as we look to implement continuous improvements to the CAB Direct platform for the benefit of our many users. Since releasing the platform in July 2016 we have added functionality such the ‘View Indexing Terms’ feature for retrieved results. Each term in the CAB Thesaurus (the world’s largest controlled vocabulary for agriculture and related disciplines) now has its own ‘entity page’ look up, which includes the specific CABI index hierarchy for that term in combination with definitions from Wikipedia and other Creative Commons licensed resources. Researchers have told us that this is an ideal way to help them understand and use our controlled vocabulary, to hone their search strategies and to aid further discovery. A follow on enhancement in 2018 will be a Thesaurus enhanced search suggestion feature for CAB Direct’s keyword search.

We also look forward to future developments in 2018 including single sign-on authentication, continued enhancements for search to support the needs of researchers performing literature reviews, and the addition of sharing and collaboration for multiple users of projects.’

To find out more about CAB Direct visit:

To request a free trial of CAB Abstracts or Global Health on the CAB Direct platform, please contact

The full CHOICE review of CAB Direct

The newly updated CAB Direct platform provides access to a pair of the world’s most extensive research databases for the applied life sciences and public health: CAB Abstracts and Global Health. Produced by the nonprofit CABI (Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International), an international organization based in the UK, it integrates the full archives of bibliographic records dating back to the early 1900s in subjects ranging across agricultural engineering, animal sciences, and the environmental sciences, with a focus on food safety, biofuels, ecoterrorism, climate change effects on crops, ecotourism, plant protection, invasive species, soil sciences, farm management, aquaculture, and forestry. The Global Health database covers biomedical/health science fields internationally, including chronic disease diagnosis and therapy, pharmacology, physiology, toxicology, occupational health, gerontology, nutrition, sanitation and waste disposal, health policy and economics, and tropical health. This enormous collection of scientific research and policy studies has more than doubled in size since CAB Abstracts was last reviewed almost a decade ago (CH, Apr’08, 45-4130); currently CAB Direct contains nearly 12 million bibliographic references (including more than 340,000 full-text articles), plus conference papers and reports published in 120 countries. New material is uploaded within days of publication.

An example of the interdisciplinary nature of the resource can be seen in a search on the Olympic games recently hosted in Brazil. Retrieved results range from the consequences of poor sanitation control, the Zika virus and public health, the effects of infectious diseases on tourism, the politics of Brazilian development, and gender justice in sports, to the social impact of large-scale sporting events on local populations. The interface features bar graphs displaying results by year – a handy visual revealing changing research interests over time.

Searching is intuitive and documents load quickly. The online CAB Thesaurus provides a controlled vocabulary of almost 2.5 million descriptive terms in English and all major European languages. A significant update entailed revising terms for flowering plants (monocots) to conform to the APG III (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, version 3) classification system. Additionally, over 2,000 taxonomic names of invasive plants have been added. A well-developed help guide enables researches to enhance their skills in constructing search strategies. Additional training is available through tools that include training videos, webinars, FAQs, and a users group to which registered individuals can submit questions by email. Researchers can organize their search activities in project files and highlight, annotate, and share them with others. Libraries supporting programs in the life sciences and public health can license CAB Direct from CABI. Academic subscription pricing is based on institutional size and research level, and the archives are available as a one-time purchase. The two databases CAB Abstracts and Global Health can also be licensed from other US vendors including EBSCO, Ovid, STN International, and Thomson Reuters, among others.

– J. C. Stachacz, Wilkes University

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduates through researchers/faculty; technical program students; professionals/practitioners.

Reprinted with permission from CHOICE, copyright by the American Library Association.