Search tip: CAB Abstracts and the search platforms Ovid and EBSCOhost

Published on
April 10, 2019

Do you do research on agricultural topics? Then chances are that you're interested in the literature database CAB Abstracts. CAB Abstracts includes over 9.2 million publications in agriculture and related fields.

When you access CAB Abstracts through the WUR Library website you need to choose 'via Ovid' or 'via EBSCOhost'. What does this mean? Some literature databases, such as Web of Science or Scopus, have their own search interface. CAB Abstracts however, is available through the platforms Ovid and EBSCOhost.  

So what should you choose?

First you need to consider which database(s) you would like to use in addition to CAB Abstracts. The Ovid platform provides access to more databases for the life sciences, like AGRICOLA and Zoological record.

EBSCOhost hosts more social and environmental sciences databases, like Econlit, ERIC, PsycINFO and SocINDEX, the Avery index to Architectural Periodicals and GreenFILE.

Choosing the correct search platform lets you search in several databases at once. The advantage is that you could use your - carefully prepared - search query in several of these databases in one search.

Next, you need to consider the different features offered by the platforms. Ovid, for instance, has a more extensive thesaurus. A thesaurus is a llist of controlled terms to describe the content of a record. But, many researchers find that EBSCOhost offers a more intuitive search interface.

Searching in both platforms differs in their use of wildcards and phrase searching. In addition, EBSCOhost also automatically searches single and plural forms of search terms, and different spelling variants, while Ovid doesn't.

Would you like to get help with searching in CAB Abstracts? Please contact the Servicedesk for individual support.