Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives



ELSST moves to the CESSDA Platform

The multilingual thesaurus for the social sciences is now available on the CESSDA Platform.

The European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST) is a broad-based, multilingual thesaurus for the social sciences, owned and published by CESSDA.

Freely accessible and covered by a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence, it is now available on the CESSDA Platform as one of a suite of web-based tools.

ELSST consists of over 3,000 concepts (keywords) and covers the core social science disciplines: politics, sociology, economics, education, law, crime, demography, health, employment, information and communication technology and, increasingly, environmental science. It is used for data discovery within CESSDA and facilitates access to data resources across Europe, independent of domain, resource, language or vocabulary.

ELSST provides a structured, controlled vocabulary of keywords that can be assigned to diverse items within a collection, such as datasets or publications. Using a thesaurus such as ELSST, data providers (such as data archives, research centres and libraries) can attach similar keywords to items in their collections that are different in nature but cover similar topics. This ensures that materials in the collections are described in a consistent way.

In turn, this helps researchers in two ways; making catalogue searches easier by providing a set list of keywords to choose search terms from, and improving the accuracy of search results by ensuring that all items covering the selected topic are found.

ELSST is developed by a team drawn from several CESSDA Service Providers, who collaborate to ensure ELSST concepts remain current and relevant to researchers across the social sciences.

It is currently available in 14 languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.

More information:

Read the ELSST documentation to find out more about the development, management and structure of the thesaurus, and recent updates to ELSST.