Release of ELSST Thesaurus Management System Version 2

Jeannine Beeken


We are very pleased to announce the release of the Thesaurus Management System Version 2 on 18 December 2018.

After three successful new releases of the ELSST content in September 2016, 2017 and 2018, the next step was to evaluate, revise and enhance all of the functionalities of the thesaurus management system (TMS), the online application and user interface.  Requirements were gathered from translators and administrators via a survey and all users were invited to give their feedback.

Major improvements and enhancements have been made to the ‘search/browse’ functions, the ‘history’ section and the ‘suggestions’ area.  User-oriented improvements include the introduction of 13 language-specific stemmers, search with or without diacritics, additional filter and retrieval options, more ways to sort results, and various export/download options.

Stemmers reduce words to their stem or root form, for example: ‘politics, political, politicians’ are reduced to their stem ‘politic’. Diacritics affect the pronunciation of a word and appear as a mark on letters such as È  Ï  ļ  Ň  Ö  Ž.

Some of the ELSST functionalities, for example ‘History’ and ‘Suggestions’ are only available to logged-in users.  If you do not have an account, you can create one at, by choosing Login to ELSST and following the instructions.

More information about the structure of ELSST is available at

More details on the major revisions and enhancements are given below.

Your feedback is very welcome, just send a mail to


  1. ELSST Home page

The search function has been improved by adding the Autosuggest function to the Search box.  This function uses language-specific stemmers to find the first 10 Preferred Terms (PTs) followed by the first 10 Use For terms (UFs); the numbers depend on the availability of terms. Selecting one of the terms proposed by Autosuggest leads you directly to the ‘View concept page’ which displays the tree structure together with the language equivalents, scope note, UFs etc. Searches are diacritic-insensitive.

However, you do not have to select one of the suggested terms, you can also type a term and press the GO button.  This leads you to the ‘Thesaurus search’ page, where all terms selected by the language-specific stemmer are listed.

If you have translator rights, you can get access to the Translators area by clicking on the appropriate link. There you will find the Translation guidelines and training material.


  1. ELSST search

 ‘Thesaurus search’ page

Previously, you could filter your search by unticking the ‘Preferred Term’ box or the ‘Use for’ box. This function is still valid, and a new function has been added to it.  When you are a logged-in user, you can now broaden your search to the different notes (scope notes, use notes etc.).  For example, searching for the term POLITICS, lists about 50 results which are based on the English stemmer. Broadening your search by ticking ‘Scope note’ lists about 65 results. The additions are listed at the end of the list and comprise for example CONSTITUTIONS, NATIONAL IDENTITY and LOBBYING. Another example is EDUCATION. The following terms were not found by the search for PTs and UF only: BUSINESS AND ADMINISTRATION STUDIES, SCHOOL-LEAVING, ACADEMIC ABILITY, SECONDARY SCHOOLS, GAP YEAR, SPECIAL NEED STUDENTS etc., the reason being that the terms EDUCATION, EDUCATIONAL etc. are not part of the string.  However, these terms are mentioned in its scope and use notes.

Secondly, translators are now able to mark their translations as ‘Untranslatable’ if, as happens rarely, a certain term/concept is not part of their language, although it can be used by most or all of the other 12 ELSST languages. Examples of difficult or impossible translations are RIGHT OF WAY and HOUSE HUSBANDS.

To aid search and browse, users can now list the results according to initial letter, for example E, È, Δ, Ω.

Finally, the languages for which the translation of a specific preferred term has been completed are now displayed in Next version as well as Current version. Hovering over the abbreviations displays the translated term next to the English term.

  ‘View concept’ page

There are also some new features and functionalities on the ‘View concept’ page.

Firstly, the visual graph view of a concept is now available in Next Version as well as Current version. (accessible to logged-in users only).

Secondly, the landing page contains expanded and collapsed boxes.  Already opened are ‘Preferred term’, ‘Language equivalents’, ‘Use for’, ‘Scope note’. These fields hold the basic information about a concept.  All of the other fields can be expanded too (click on ‘+’), for example ‘Broader terms’, ‘History note’, ‘Links’. The links lead to ‘Version History’, i.e. the history of changes made to a term (available to logged in users only), and to ‘SKOS Concept’ (in Current version only).


  1. ELSST history

The history pages contain a list of all the changes made to each of the 13 languages, identifying the concept that changes were made to, the type of changes, by whom and when.  ‘History’ has been revised and improved hugely in order to enable our users and translators to get an overview of all the changes made, for example a list of all new Preferred Terms or a list of all the changes made during a specific period of time. The improved ‘History’ will be especially useful to translators as it will help them to keep their language versions aligned and up-to-date with the English version. However, as before, only logged-in users can consult the History page. The major changes are:

  • A ‘Language’ filter has been introduced enabling the user to select the changes made to a specific language. For example, selecting ‘Finnish’ displays the changes made to Finnish only.
  • Changes made during a specific time period, for example, changes made from 1 February 2018 to 3 March 2018, can be selected by using the ‘Date range’ filter.
  • A new filter ‘Action type’ has been introduced. For example, ticking ‘PT added’ and ‘RT removed’ displays a list of all PTs that have been added and RTs that have been removed, in chronological order.
  • The results page has been revised completely and contains information about ‘PT edited’, ‘Action’, ‘Change’, ‘Language’, ‘Date’, Who’. Users can sort their results according to each column.
    The column ‘PT edited’ identifies the preferred term that changes have been made to, which is empty in the case of a new PT.  ‘Action’ records the changes made (e.g. removing an RT relationship, changing the scope note, adding a UF).  The ‘Change’ column displays the result of the action.
  • Results can be downloaded as Excel or PDF document; they can also be printed.
  • Hovering over the tooltips displays help information


  1. ELSST suggestions

‘Suggestions’ page

The ‘Suggestions’ page has been thoroughly revised making it much easier for translators and other users to suggest a change or add a comment to a suggested change. Examples of the types of suggestions are ‘add PT’, ‘remove BT’, ‘edit scope note’. Suggestions can be made for each of the 13 available languages. However, as before, only logged-in users can consult and contribute to the Suggestion page. The major changes are:

  • New filters have been added, including a ‘Language’ filter that enables the user to select only those suggestions made for a specific language. For example, selecting ‘Czech’ displays the suggestions for Czech only.
  • A new date filter allows suggestions to be selected made during a specific time period, for example, from 1 February 2018 to 3 March 2018, can be selected by using the ‘Date range’ filter.
  • The new ‘Status’ filter indicates which suggestions are ‘Under discussion’ (default), or have been ‘Accepted’ or ‘Rejected’.
  • ‘Action type’ contains a list of controlled terms that indicate the type of suggestion. For example, ticking ‘add PT’ and ‘remove RT’ displays a list of all PTs for which it has been suggested to ‘Add PT’ or ‘Remove RT’, in chronological order. Users can also indicate whether they would like their suggestion to be considered for ELSST only or for both the ELSST and HASSET thesauri (English thesaurus).
  • The results page has been revised completely and contains information about ‘Concept suggestion’, ‘Action’, ‘Language’, ‘Status’, ‘Core’, ‘Date’, Who’. Users can sort their results according to each column.
  • Concept Suggestion identifies an existing or a new preferred term or concept the suggestion is about.
  • Action stores information about the type of action suggested. For example, removing an RT relationship, changing a scope note, adding a UF.
  • Language displays the suggestions made for a specific language, for example ‘ES’ (Spanish).
  • Status displays the status of the suggestion, for example ‘Rejected’ or ‘Accepted’.
  • Core: No means that the suggestion is for either ELSST or HASSET only.
  • Date and Who specify when and by whom the suggestion was made.
  • Results can be downloaded as an Excel or PDF document or they can be printed.

‘View suggestion’ page

To read more about a suggestion, including any comments on it, click on the suggestion on the Suggestion page. Users can also add a comment of their own.

While the author of the suggestion is allowed to re-edit his/her suggestion, others can only add one or more ‘Comments’. It goes without saying that only Administrators can access the Administration area, which contains for example a suggestion’s status (Under discussion, Accepted, Rejected).

‘Suggest a change’ page

The ‘Suggest a change’ page has been revised fully and has been improved in terms of user-friendliness.

Users should first select a ‘Language’ to clarify which language their suggestion is meant for. This also changes the tree view of the thesaurus on this page to that language.

Each suggestion needs to be identified by a ‘Concept suggestion’ and an ‘Action type’ (both mandatory).  The ‘Discussion’ field enables users to clarify why they would like to see their suggestion accepted. The data that support their suggestion can be inserted in the ‘Supporting data’ field. Users can also indicate whether their suggestion is ELSST only (non-core) or is meant to be considered for HASSET also (core).


  1. Edit pages

‘Edit concept’ and ‘Edit translation’ pages

In order to implement the changes to the thesaurus described above, the edit pages for the source language (‘Edit concept’) and the edit pages for the translations (‘Edit translation’) have been revised and improved considerably. n the ‘Edit translation’ page, translators are given the ability to mark their translation as Untranslatable, or to change the parallel language to a language other than English. They can also add language-specific editorial notes. Finally, each note box offers extra edit facilities, such as bold, colour, insert links, preview, print etc.


  1. Documentation

New guides and training materials support the new Version of ELSST described above and will be made available behind the ‘Translators’ page.

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