Search Thesaurus: Help

Search String Entry
Search Types
Results Display
Display of Hierarchies
Subject Categories

The Government of Canada Core Subject Thesaurus is available in English and French versions. To switch from one version to the other, click on the "Français / English" button from the menu bar.

Search String Entry

To search the thesaurus, start by entering a word, part of a word or a phrase in the search box.

Search Types

Two options are available:

1. Browse the alphabetic list of terms

This search type allows to retrieve all the terms starting with the character string entered. This is the default search type.

For example, if one enters "air" in the search box and browses the alphabetic list of terms, the results are:

Air
Air bags
Air carriers
Air conditioning
[-]
Air transport industry
Air transportation
Airborne emissions

Aircraft
etc.

Searches are performed on all terms, including preferred terms and non-preferred terms. Non-preferred terms appear in italics and preferred terms in normal font.

The system displays a maximum of 500 terms. For more extensive results, contact the editor of the Government of Canada Core Subject Thesaurus at BAC.RedacteurTSB-CSTEditor.LAC@canada.ca.

2. Search anywhere in the terms

This search type retrieves the character string entered, no matter where it is located in the terms.

There is automatic truncation, both on left and right sides. So if one enters "air" in the search box and searches anywhere in the terms, the results include not only terms with the word "air", but also terms like "Aboriginal affairs", "Agricultural fairs", "Dairy products", etc.

Once again, searches are performed on all terms, including preferred terms and non-preferred terms. Non-preferred terms appear in italics and preferred terms in normal font.

The system displays a maximum of 500 terms. For more extensive results, contact the editor of the Government of Canada Core Subject Thesaurus at BAC.RedacteurTSB-CSTEditor.LAC@canada.ca.

Results Display

In response to a search, the system displays a list of terms (preferred terms and non-preferred terms).

To see the record of a specific preferred term, with its semantic network (equivalent in the other language, subject category, synonyms, broader terms, narrower terms and related terms) and possibly a scope note, just click on the term.

Example of a preferred term record:

Alternative medicine

French:
Médecine douce

Subject Category:
HE Health and Safety

Used For:
Soft medicine

Broader Term:
Medicine

Narrower Term:
Homeopathy

Related Term:
Medicinal plants

The relationship between the main preferred term of the record and its synonyms (non-preferred terms) is shown here by the "Used For" reference.

Similarly, you can consult the record of a non-preferred term by clicking on a term in italics. Example:

Soft medicine

Subject Category:
HE Health and Safety

Use:
Alternative medicine

The record of a non-preferred term includes only a subject category and a "Use" reference to the preferred term chosen to represent this concept in the thesaurus.

Everywhere in the thesaurus, it is possible to navigate from one preferred term to another through the hyperlinks, except for the English or French equivalents. To consult the record of an equivalent term in the other language, it is required to change version by clicking on the "Français / English" button from the menu bar, and repeat the search with the French term.

Display of Hierarchies

To see the hierarchical structure in which the preferred term fits, click on the "Show Hierarchy" link which appears above the preferred term. Here is an example of a hierarchy display:

Alternative medicine

: : : : : Sciences
: : : : Natural sciences
: : : Life sciences
: : Health sciences
Medicine
Alternative medicine
Homeopathy

In this display, the sign " : " precedes the broader terms, whereas the sign " . " precedes the narrower terms.

You can return to the record display by clicking on the "Show Relationships" link, which appears above the preferred term.

Subject Categories

The Government of Canada Core Subject Thesaurus terms have been classified into broad subject categories. These categories can be consulted by clicking on the Browse Subject Categories button at the bottom of the search screen. From there, you can click on any of the categories and access an alphabetical list of terms pertaining to it.

A list of terms pertaining to a specific subject category is also available by clicking on a subject category found on a term record.