Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives



New release of ELSST thesaurus

We are pleased to announce the release of the new version of the European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST).

The latest version was released on 10 September 2019, replacing the previous version that dates from 19 September 2018.

The new release sees the addition of a new language, Dutch, to the thesaurus. This brings the total number of languages in ELSST to fourteen: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish.

The source language of the thesaurus, English, from which all other language versions are derived, now contains 3318 Preferred Terms. Preferred Terms represent the concepts contained in the thesaurus, arranged hierarchically into Broader Terms (BTs) and Narrower Terms (NTs). Preferred Terms may be accompanied by Use For terms, usually synonyms or near-synonyms, which guide the user to the Preferred Term, but are not used for indexing. Thesaurus concepts may also be associated with ‘scope notes’, which explain the semantic reach of the concept, and other note types, which enhance the usability of the thesaurus.

In the new release of ELSST, 98-100% of Preferred Terms have been translated into each of the other target languages, and Slovenian scope notes have been added to the thesaurus for the first time.

Content development and structural work since the last release have concentrated on streamlining the thesaurus structure, and on revision of the POLITICS hierarchy.

The following changes were made to the English source language version:

  • 12 new concepts
  • 7 relabelled Preferred Terms (for currency or ambiguity)
  • 21 new Use For terms
  • 55 new or changed Scope Notes
  • 266 changes to the BT/NT relationships
  • 16 deleted concepts

Other changes in the new release include the addition of a bibliography where full references for scope note sources are provided, and the explicit marking of terms in a target language that are deemed to have no translation. (This should happen only rarely, since every effort is taken to include in ELSST only concepts that are applicable to all ELSST languages).

More information:

For more information on the latest release, see a summary of changes to ELSST since the last release and read the ELSST blog post