At the top of the subject thesaurus home page you can find a search box for keyword search, the left column allows to browse the list of subject fields. The right column gives the short introduction to EMS.


 You must write the keyword in the search box. You can search by the beginning of the wordpart of the word or the exact equivalent, from among Estonian and English language terms or simultaneously both (choose from the drop-down menu). The keyword must consist of at least one letter. Any letter with diacritical marks not appearing in the Estonian alphabet can be searched by the basic letter.

In the left column, the search will display a list ofidentified preferred terms and nonpreferred terms. The nonpreferred term or synonym gives reference to the subject term to be used (reference USE).

The header of the column displays details of the search (how many records were searched and by which elements). In case of no result (message 0 records), you should extend the search and preferably search by shorter beginning or part of the word.

Clicking the term in the list opens the record of the term on the right.

The record of the subject term displays the subject term in use, its English-language equivalents, explanation, synonyms (in the field Replaces), relations with other subject terms (in the fields Broader, Narrower, Related) and the subject fields where the subject term belongs. The record ends with a permalink and links for downloading the record in human-readable MARC21 format (Marc21-I), machine-readable MARC21-format (Marc21) and MARCXML-format (MarcXML).

The record of the nonpreferred term displays the term that is not used as the subject term, its English-language equivalent, reference to the subject term and the subject fields where the term belongs.

To view all the terms in the list as records at one time,  you must use the command View records. If the number of records exceeds 25, they can be viewed page by page.

The list of records displayed on the right can be converted into a list of terms by using the command View the list.

All related subject terms provide a link to the record of the particular term.

All records contain links for search with this term in the online catalogue ESTER, article database ISE, digital archive Digar, national bibliography database ERB and internet search in Google.

The command Limit by subject field enables to find from the list of search results the terms belonging to one subject field. You have to choose the subject field from the menu and confirm it with the button Limit (piira). The same can be done in the list of records.


The subject terms are divided into numbered subject fields. The same subject term can belong to several subject fields. NB! The numbering has gaps in it, please do not let it confuse you.

 The list of subject fields with numbers is displayed on the front page in the left column. You can always return to the list of subject fields via the link Subject fields.

Subject fields can be sorted by numbers or subject words by clicking respectively No or Subject field in the header.

When clicking the name of the subject field, the list of subject terms of this subject field is displayed on the left. NB! The loading and displaying of longer subject field lists may take about twenty seconds!

The command See records displays the same subject terms as records in the right column.


You can separately browse chronological terms expressed in digits and form terms (the latter contain also genre terms) by clicking the corresponding links in the top panel menu. 


You can compile a sample of subject term records by selecting the desired records and clicking the button Add to sample.

Clicking the link Samples enables to view the sample.

The sample of the user’scurrent session is under the name My sample. When the session ends, My sample is deleted. The samples compiled for the user by the editors of the thesaurus (if there are such samples) can be viewed under My sample.

When you click the name of the sample, you can view the subject terms collected under this sample.

If you wish to delete subject terms from the sample, you must open the sample, select the corresponding terms and click the button Delete from sample. The sample will be updated and the new result will be displayed.

During the current session you can delete terms from the sample compiled by the editors but it will turn into My sample and the sample prepared by the editors will not change.


The data displayed in list of terms in the left-hand column or in records in the right-hand column can be printed (command Print), sent to email address (Email) or save in your computer as a text file (Save). 


Users of the thesaurus can order a regular notice to be sent to their email about added, changed and deleted subject terms. To order you have to fill in an order form which opens at the link Order alert notice.

The notices are usually sent once a month. 


Questions, suggestions and comments to the editors of the thesaurus can be sent via email


1)Records via permalink (URI) and record ID 

Full entry on the web in EMS environment:

Record of nonpreffered term:

If the record has been deleted, the following notice is displayed in front of the record: “DELETED”:

If the ID is in an inappropriate format, the answer is “Record not found”: 

Record Marc21 Authority in machine-readable format (see

Record Marc21 in human-readable format(Marc21-I):

Record in MarcXML format (see

If the ID is in an inappropriate format,the answer is “Terms not found”:

If the ID is in an appropriate format but no such ID is found or the term has been deleted, the answer is 0:

If the hashtag is not appropriate, the answer is that the thesaurus EMS does not support that format and you are directed to the display of the full record:

Both capital letters and lower case letters can be used in ID and hashtag.

Hidden records will also be revealed, they are blocked only upon manual search and loading records in marc format.

2)Records via URL and record ID 

Machine-readable Marc21:

Human-readable Marc21:


3)Records by keyword search 

Machine-readable Marc21:ärgid

Human-readable Marc21:ärgid


Multiple-word subject terms:

All subject terms including a string(truncating mark %):

4)Full database records download

Machine-readable Marc21:

Human-readable Mar21:




A field (except 00X fields) consists of the field number, two indicator positions and sub-fields for data content. An empty indicator position is marked by a slash. The sub-field sign consists of the sign $ and a letter or number. Below the most substantial elements are introduced, read more at 

LDR  leader,e.g. 00000nza2200000n%00

001  control number which is EMS ID, e.g. EMS167171

003  code of the issuer of the control number ErEMS

008  fixed-length field for various coded info, the first 6 places indicate the compilation time of the record yymmdd, e.g. 130823|n|anznnbabn||n|

 040  compilation details of the record, do not vary: $aErEMS$best$cErEMS$fems

072  7 EMS subject field number where the term belongs, and EMS code, e.g. $a53$2ems

            The field can be repeated 

150  authorised thematic term, e.g. $ainfokeskkond

151  authorised geographic term, e.g. $aAbja-Paluoja

155  authorised form term, e.g. $aõigusaktid 

450, 451, 455  nonpreferred terms (synonyms) for authorised subject terms, e.g.450 $ainforuum; 451  $aAbja; 455 $anormatiivaktid 

450, 451, 455 9 English-language equivalents, e.g. 450 9 $ainformation environment; 451 9 $aNarva river; 455 9 $alegal acts 

550, 551, 555 related subject terms and their URLs on sub-field $0

$wg – broader term

$wh – narrower term

$w missing – other semantic connection


150  $aalalõualuu

450  $amandibula

450  9$amandible

550 $wg$alõualuud$0

550  $wh$aalalõuapõnt$0

550 $aalalõualiiges$0 

670    source, e.g. $aRegio Eesti Teede Atlas,Regio, 1998.

680  explanation with the sub-field symbol $i, e.g. $iIsikute, organisatsioonide ja süsteemide kogum, milles kogutakse, töödeldakse ja levitatakse infot. Hõlmab ka informatsiooni ennast.