Thesaurus: is not a dinosaur, and is very useful

Thesaurus: is not a dinosaur

How many synonymous words can replace ‘Odor’?
How many words can describe the chemical entity called ‘Rasagiline’?

Searching in Google will not always retrieve all of the relevant results, since the search engine cannot identify synonymous words and relevant initials for scientific and technological terms. Using a thesaurus (terms dictionary) is the most effective and thorough search method. 

Using the thesaurus can help with: 

  • Research based on keywords (the search results will include all the name and spelling variations of your search term)
  • Filtering search results based on filters that include your search term
  • Semantics – your search inquiry can include more than one keyword

Recommended databases that include a thesaurus: 

  • Pubmed (life science) – MeSH Thesaurus 
  • Embase (life science) – Emtree
  • Engineering Village Thesaurus (engineering)
  • IEEE Thesaurus (CS, electricity, electronics)
  • Psycinfo (psychology and social science) – APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms
  • Scopus (multidisciplinary) – the thesaurus is available through filtering the search results 

An example of using the thesaurus: 

A researcher is interested in methods to improve the odor of dairy products in general. Embase thesaurus will search for all dairy products simultaneously and will add the term ‘odor’ (and all of its synonymous) to the search inquiry.

Want to learn more?

May 2022 \ Issue #8 \ Writing, editing and graphic design: Reference & Instruction Team, Elyachar Central Library