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The AGRIS/CARIS Categorization Scheme is one of the tools used for subject control in AGRIS and CARIS. It should be used jointly with AGROVOC in order to describe completely and precisely the subject of a document or a research project. It has been prepared to:


The scope of AGRIS and CARIS coincides with the scope of FAO and covers agriculture and its related fields, including fisheries, forestry, food, veterinary science and rural development. The AGRIS/CARIS Categorization Scheme is the basic manual for the categorization of agricultural literature and agricultural research projects to be included respectively in AGRIS and CARIS, and gives a breakdown of the AGRIS/CARIS subject scope into a number of main fields which are further subdivided into specific subject categories. Each subject category is represented by a code.

In this expanded version of the AGRIS/CARIS Categorization Scheme two new categories have been added:

Note: The matching must be done critically, in order to exclude material outside the scope. AGRIS and CARIS are mission-oriented systems, the mission being that of FAO, namely raising levels of nutrition and standards of living, bettering the conditions of rural populations, improving the production and distribution of food and other primary products of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Information, therefore, should be reported to the systems only if the work it describes is within, or has a purpose related to, the mission of AGRIS and CARIS. Items which deal with purely academic research belong more appropriately in discipline-oriented systems, whether chemical, biological, medical or socio-economic, and not in AGRIS or CARIS.


A primary subject category reflects the main topic of each document. It determines the heading under which a citation was printed in Agrindex (stopped in 1995), the monthly printed bibliography of AGRIS. When the document contains further information within the scope, up to two additional subject categories may be assigned. In Agrindex, the full bibliographical citation is, however, printed only under the first (primary) subject category. If more than one subject category is assigned, index entries and cross-references under the additional (secondary) subject categories lead the user to the ful1 reference.


By a process of analysis, concepts expressed in a document or describing the subject of a research project are identified by the indexer and transcribed into the components of the indexing language used in the retrieval system.

The indexer should always bear in mind the purpose of indexing, which is the retrieval of information. The subject categories assigned should, therefore, reflect as precisely as possible the main ideas expressed in the documents, in order to locate references relevant to a particular subject quickly and accurately.


An expanded Subject Index has been prepared for this revision of the AGRIS/CARIS Categorization Scheme, as follows, to promote the effective use of the scheme by:

Agricultural and other thesauri and lists of agricultural terminology have been consulted for potential useful terms.

Whenever an AGROVOC term could be assigned to one category, this has been done and the term entered in the new index.

This will assist the indexer in locating the category code for the subject matter indexed, while giving at the same time an indication of the possible AGROVOC terms to be looked up.

Synonyms of the terminology used in the Categorization Scheme and of AGROVOC terms have been introduced in the index.

Compound index entries, consisting of two or more words, have been inverted.

Scope notes, as an explanation of the range of subject matter encompassed, have been introduced.

When necessary, qualifying expressions in the form of an explanatory word or phrase, have been used to differentiate the various meanings of a homograph or homonym.

Note: Although the Alphabetical Subject Index in this Categorization Scheme is an invaluable preliminary aid for determining the appropriate subject categories, for correct and accurate coding, indexers should always refer to the scope descriptions of the subject categories before assigning a code.


The original scheme for the AGRIS subject categories, FAO-AGRIS-3, March 1974, was prepared by Mr Donald Leatherdale.

The Revision 5 of the AGRIS/CARIS Categorization Scheme has been prepared in close collaboration with the entire AGRIS and CARIS team - special thanks go to Ms Maria Natlacen - , the staff of FAO's Library and Documentation System's Division, AGRIS and CARIS participating centres and many other individual experts.

This revision 5.1 is the machine readable form of Revision 5, prepared at AGRIS Processing Unit under Microsoft Word 7.

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