24 August 2016 – The 2016 edition of CAB Thesaurus – the largest source of terminology covering the applied life sciences – was published today. It provides a controlled vocabulary resource of nearly 2.5 million descriptive terms.

CAB Thesaurus is an essential tool for academic, corporate and government librarians, who need to navigate, retrieve and index vast amounts of data. It can also be used for cataloguing and organizing in-house databases, as well as managing intranets, and is accessed on a daily basis by users of CABI’s CAB Abstracts, Global Health and related CABI products.

CAB Thesaurus content has grown significantly since the last edition was published in 2014. The updated version now includes 2,495,753 terms, including 157,368 distinct concepts (preferred terms) and 126,417 synonyms, as well as translations of these from English into ten European languages. New structural and organizational features have been added to increase its utility. Particular attention has been paid to translation of English content and technical issues related to open data, as well as the needs of projects such as the award-winning Plantwise food security programme and the open access Invasive Species Compendium.

One of the biggest updates included revising terms for flowering plants (monocots) to conform to the APGIII (Angiosperm Phylogeny Group version 3) system of classification – a huge task since monocots include many very large families, such as grasses, lilies and orchids. In addition, over 2,000 taxonomic names of invasive plants have been added. Revisions were also completed of all crustaceans as well as microscopic, parasitic worms – cestodes, nematodes and trematodes – in companion animals.

Structural improvements to the 2016 edition include adding taxonomic ranks to over 213,000 scientific names of organisms, adding category codes for products, properties and publications, and improvements to expressing the data in SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System).

To extend the reach of CAB Thesaurus and to enhance the effectiveness of searching many translations of English non-taxonomic terms were added, particularly into German (4,645 terms added) and Finnish (1,489 terms added), focussing on geographic, chemical and disease terminology to ensure the hierarchies link up well.

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

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