CAB Abstracts is produced by the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau. It covers the fields of agronomy, animal sciences, biotechnology, crop protection, environmental degradation and remediation, forestry, genetics, herbicides, horticulture, irrigation, microbiology, nutrition, parasitology, rural development, soils, and veterinary sciences. The database contains information from 1984 to date.

Getting Started
Connect to CAB from the UCR Library homepage at On the left side of the screen, under "Articles," click on "Databases, A to Z." Select CAB via WebSPIRS

If you are off campus, you will need to access the campus network first to connect to CAB.  CAB may also be accessed freely on the internet.  See for more information.

WebSPIRS defaults to Advanced searching. In many ways, advanced searching is easier to do than using the basic Search mode. The form and drop down menus, as shown below, help you construct simple to complex searches. 


NOTE: You will get fewer, but more relevant hits by searching phrases instead of combining single words. For example, water quality gets better results than looking for water AND quality.

NOTE: The limits you set remain in place until you change them.

Author Searching

1. Go to the Advanced search page (to get there, click on the tab labeled Advanced).
2. Enter author by last name followed by a hyphen, then first initial(s), such as SMITH-M.
If you only know the last name, such as Smith, search smith* in the personal author field. This technique will retrieve records of many other people having the last name Smith. Combine the broad author retrieval with other search concepts (as a second author or a topic) to narrow down the results.

Using the Index

f you are uncertain about how a name is referenced, click on the Index tab at the top. Enter last name and press Go to Term. An alphabetical list of names will appear. Browse and select possible name variations from the list.

If you are uncertain about what subject word(s) to use, click on the Index tab. Enter your subject and press Go to Term. An alphabetical list of indexed terms will appear. Browse, mark, and search directly from the list.

TIPS on subject searching: If you discover a particularly useful record, click on the "Complete Record" and look at the descriptors and identifiers. Use these indexing terms to locate other records on the topic.

Viewing Search History
To view the steps of your search, click on the Search History tab. From this window you can edit and combine searches.

Displaying Results
o change the record display, click on Change Display. Select number of records to display, fields, labels, and sorting order.

Creating a Selected List
From the Advanced search page, mark interesting records by checking the boxes next to them. From the pull down menu next to Show (center left on screen), choose to display the Marked Results.

Getting Full Text Articles
Look for Full Text Options within the article citation. If full text is available, click on the associated link. PDF (scanned versions) provide better quality graphics and images.

Printing, Saving and E-mailing Records
After you display your results and mark the records you wish to keep, click on the Print , Save , or E-mail icons (center right on screen). Specify the records and fields.

To import records into a software program such as EndNote, save the citations with short field labels (the default) and mark the "Record numbers and database" name box. When using EndNote software, select the WebSPIRS (or SilverPlatter) filter.

Multiple Database Searching
Click on the Change button next to the "View databases being searched" box (center right on screen).

Check the box next to the databases you want to search simultaneously. You can search both AGRICOLA and CAB Abstracts at the same time.

Click on the word Logout (top right on menu bar).

For Questions or Additional Help

Last modified: 1/12/2007 3:49 PM by by M. Yonezawa