ELSST Thesaurus news

Release of new version

The current version of ELSST was released on 16 June 2020. The previous version dates from 10 September 2019.

The focus of the work in this period was on the creation of a new hierarchy, TECHNICAL INFRASTRUCTURE, and the inclusion of new topical concepts such as COVID-19 and DISINFORMATION.

Out of the 14 available languages, 12 have been updated. The exceptions are Spanish, since no organisation that can provide Spanish translations is currently participating in ELSST, and Danish, where no resources were available. Translation of Preferred Terms for all target languages is between 98-100% complete.

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

  • 14 new concepts
  • 6 deleted concepts
  • 6 relabelled Preferred Terms
  • 21 new Use For terms
  • 2 deleted Use For terms
  • 18 new or changed Scope Notes
  • 1 new Use Note
  • 46 changes to the Broader Term/Narrower Term relationships
  • 14 changes to Related Term relationships
  • 16 new or changed History Notes
  • 16 new or changed Scope Note Sources

For more information, see a summary of changes to ELSST since the last release.

Funding and management structure

Since 1 January 2019 ELSST has been funded by the CESSDA Metadata Office (MDO) project. It follows on from the Vocabulary Services Multilingual Content Management (VOICE) project that funded ELSST development from January-December 2018. Both projects received funding from the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) to manage and co-ordinate ELSST and other multilingual controlled vocabularies within CESSDA.

Content development work on ELSST within the MDO project is led by four CESSDA partners: UK Data Service (UK), FSD (Finland), GESIS (Germany) and NSD (Norway). This core group meets every 2-3 weeks to drive development work forward. Other translators may also attend, and all decisions taken at these meetings are shared with all ELSST translators for comment. There are also regular general meetings for all translators, where strategic matters are discussed.

Coming soon: software platforms for ELSST

This is the last release of ELSST using the current software. As reported in our previous blog post, plans are now underway to move ELSST onto more up-to-date and open-source software. After considering various options we finally chose VocBench for the thesaurus management system, and Skosmos for the publishing platform.

VocBench was originally created to manage the AGROVOC multilingual thesaurus, but is now used to manage several other prominent thesauri, such as the EuroVoc and UNESCO thesauri. It can also be used to manage other types of controlled vocabularies, such as taxonomies and ontologies, and has a large user community. It is fully compliant with W3C standards, including Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS).

Skosmos provides a multilingual user interface for browsing and searching thesauri and other controlled vocabularies, and like VocBench, it is fully W3C compliant.

We are now busy testing both systems and producing guidelines and training material. We aim to launch the new systems in the autumn.

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