Given that CAT plays an important role in agricultural information management in China and AGROVOC is used widely to index agricultural information material all over the world, if CAT is mapped to AGROVOC, then Chinese agricultural scientists will be able to access resources indexed with AGROVOC using CAT terms, and scientists outside of China can access CAT resources using AGROVOC.
CAT was developed as a knowledge management tool for the agricultural forestry and biological fields. It is the second largest multi-disciplinary thesaurus in China. It has been approved by the authority of the Agricultural Ministry of China as a criterion for Agricultural document retrieval systems and for archiving administration and scientific research resources. CAT has been extended in Taiwan by the Taiwan Agricultural Science Information Center. CAT contains 64638 terms in Chinese, including 51614 descriptors and 13024 non-descriptors. It has BT/NT, UF/USE and RT relations. Most descriptors have English translations. Some biological taxonomic names have only Latin translations. Only 200 descriptors and nearly all non-descriptors have no translation. There are 2332 top terms and terms are organized in 40 categories and sub-categories (indicated by codes 01, 19, 50, etc., e.g. crops) up to a maximum depth of three.
FAO published the first edition of AGROVOC in 1982, and then issued the second, third and fourth editions in 1988, 1995, and 1999, respectively. FAO issued the Web edition in 2000 which now has seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Czech, and Portuguese). AGROVOC has a total number of 16769 descriptors and 10968 non-descriptors in the area of agricultural science. The Chinese translations were provided by the same thesaurus experts who manage CAT . Initially, AGROVOC was used for indexing information materials produced within the international cooperative information systems AGRIS and CARIS, and for data retrieval from those systems. Nowadays, AGROVOC is used more widely to index agricultural information in repositories all over the world.
2.1 Structural differences to consider when mapping
Not only does CAT have more than twice as many terms as AGROVOC, but it covers a broader range and goes more deeply than AGROVOC does in the Agricultural sub-domains. For some domains, whereas AGROVOC has up to 4 levels of narrower terms, CAT has up to seven.