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Veterinary - Research Databases: Searching in CAB Direct

Basic and advanced searching in CAB Direct

Basic search

1. The search box on CAB Direct's homepage is a basic keyword search box that searches the whole record (title, abstract, indexing field, and all the bibliographic data) and returns results that include the keyword(s) searched.

image shows location of basic search box.


Please note, when you enter two or more words in the search box with no boolean operator, the search will treat the search as if it includes the boolean operator AND. So the search feline infectious peritonitis is treated as feline AND infectious AND peritonitis. If you wish to search the terms as a phrase, enter the terms in quotation marks (ex. "feline infectitious peritonitis"). Phrase searching will yield fewer results.


2. The number of search results is listed at the top of the search results. Limit results by timeframe or other facets in the column to the right of the results.

image show location for number of results and refine facet options


3. Refine the search by using the facets. When you click on a facet, an expanded window appears with a graphical representation of the terms related to the search that are associated with that facet; you can see all the terms associated with the facet by selecting the Show list option. The default boolean operator for added terms is OR; you can change the boolean operator by selecting another operator.

image shows facet boolean options and show list link to show all options in a facet


4. When you make selections within a facet, the selection will appear at the top of the facet box in green with an orange "x" beside it. To remove a selection, click the "x". To add selections from another facet, close the current facet box, then open the new facet and make selections. When you have finished with all your facet selections, click the refine results button.

image shows chosen facet refine options


Advanced search

1. To search within specific fields and to combine field searches, click the advanced search link.

image shows advanced search link


2. Choose the search field by clicking the dropdown menu to the right of the search box in which you have entered the search terms; to combine different search fields, use the boolean connector drop down menu to the left of the search boxes.

image shows field and boolean dropdown menu locations


3. Limit by year, document type, and CABI database, as well as to CABI hosted full text, open access resources, and evidence based research with the options below the search boxes.

CAB Direct simple searching

CAB Direct advanced searching

CAB Direct: Refining results using facets

Search Options

CAB Direct searching allows the use of the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT.


Boolean operator AND

Use AND to include two or more search terms; results of these Boolean searches will include all the search terms.  

Example: the search patellar luxation AND dogs will yield article results that contain both the phrase patellar luxation and the term dogs.


Boolean operator OR

Use OR to find results that include one or the other search term, as well as both search terms.

Example: the search inguinal hernia OR perineal hernia will yield article results that contain the terms inguinal hernia or the terms perineal hernia, as well as articles that contain all the terms.


Boolean operator NOT

Use NOT to exclude a term from your search results.

Example: Example: the search umbilical hernia NOT dogs will yield article results with the terms umbilical hernia that do not contain the term dogs.


For more information, see the CAB Direct Boolean Operators page.

Phrase searching

By placing quotation marks around a phrase, your search results will be limited to those results that include the exact phrase specified in the quotations. Including quotations in a phrase search will often yield fewer results.

Example: To find articles that include the specific phrase caprine arthritis encephalitis, use the search "caprine arthritis encephalitis". Without quotations, the search yields 790 results; with quotations, the search yields 724 results.



Use parentheses to compound Boolean searches.

Example: the search (inguinal hernia OR perineal hernia) AND dogs yields article results with the terms inguinal hernia and/or perineal hernia that also include the term dogs.


For more information, see the CAB Direct Search Rules page.


Asterisk *

Use an asterisk symbol (*) to represent any group of characters.

Example: the search microb* yields results for the terms microbe, microbial, microbiota, microbiome, microbiologists, microbiology, etc. 


Question mark ?

Use a question mark symbol (?) to represent a single character.

Example: the search organi?ation yields results for the terms organization and organisation.


For more information, see the CAB Direct Search Rules page.

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