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NAL Agricultural Thesaurus

 “The Thesaurus and [an associated] Glossary are online vocabulary tools of agricultural terms in English and Spanish and are cooperatively produced by the National Agricultural Library, USDA, and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture through the Orton Memorial Library.”

General information
Vocabulary alternative name or acronym: 

NAL Thesaurus; Agricultural Thesaurus; NALT

Vocabulary type: 
Author or Editor: 
NAL THesaurus staff
Current version/edition : 
2015 Edition
Current version date: 
Wed, 2014-12-10
Update frequency: 
Available formats: 
XML, RDF-SKOS, PDF, MARC, and DOC. RDF-SKOS files have Linked Open Data persistent URIs.
Was vocabulary created as a course project: 
Scope and Usage

English, Spanish

Major subjects covered: 

Agricultural subjects, biological sciences

Minor subjects covered: 

Rural and agricultural sociology; physical sciences


"The NAL Agricultural Thesaurus (NALT) was originally prepared by staff of the National Agricultural Library to meet the needs of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS). … The thesaurus is primarily used for indexing and for improving retrieval of agricultural information.”

Used By: 

Currently, the thesaurus is the indexing vocabulary for the National Agricultural Library's bibliographic database of citations to agricultural resources, AGRICOLA. The Food Safety Research Information Office (FSRIO) and Agricultural Network Information Center (AgNIC) also use the NALT as the indexing vocabulary for their information systems. In addition, the NALT is used as an aid for locating information at the Agricultural Research Service, Economic Research Service and AgNIC web sites and databases.

Overlap with related vocabularies: 

It can be assumed that NALT has considerable overlap with AGROVOC, another agriculture related thesaurus.

Mappings to other vocabularies: 

NALT was aligned with AGROVOC by participants in the OAEI 2007 food task. See

Vocabulary characteristics
Type of display : 
Description of overall structure: 
Type of terms: 

Agricultural and scientific concepts

Relationship types: 
Number of classes: 

17 subject categories

Number of terms: 
English: 110,038; Spanish: 87,582
Number of preferred terms: 
English: 58,112; Spanish: 58,112
Number of Non-Preferred terms: 
English: 51,926; Spanish: 29,470
Characteristics Comments: 


Terms and Conditions
Availability Comments: 

Downloadable from the website in XML, SKOS, PDF, MARC and TXT formats. Other formats may be obtained by contacting the NAL Thesaurus Staff by email, mail, phone, or fax. Browseable online.

Licensing Options: 

No license is required to obtain the data contained in the NAL Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary. If the use is not personal, (1) the U.S. National Agricultural Library must be identified as the creator, maintainer, and provider of the data; (2) the version of the data must be clearly stated by the year, e.g. 2004 NAL Thesaurus; and (3) if any modification is made in the content of the file, this must be stated, along with a description of the modifications. 

Import/download instructions :  Downloads involve the acceptance of the NAL’s Usage Agreement

Vocabulary provider name: 
National Agricultural Library, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Provider URL: 
Provider contact details: 

Vocabulary provider contact details:  E-mail: Mailing address:
National Agricultural Library, c/o Lori Finch, Chief, Indexing and Informatics Branch, 10301 Baltimore Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705. Phone number: (301) 504-6853. Fax number: (301) 504-5213