Thesaurus development at the UK Data Service

Article dated: 30 July 2013

The UK Data Service is entirely redeveloping its thesaurus management applications – as well as the thesauri themselves - through the ESRC-funded CESSDA-ELSST project.

The UK Data Service maintains both the Humanities and Social Science Electronic Thesaurus (HASSET) and the European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST). CESSDA-ELSST, which is now part-way through the first year of five years of ESRC-funding, will re-imagine the applications, processes and structures of these thesauri. It will deliver a new, streamlined thesaurus management application, as well as improved access to our thesaurus products for the wider community.

CESSDA-ELSST follows our extremely successful Jisc-funded project to apply SKOS to HASSET and to test its automated indexing capabilities (SKOS-HASSET). We have consulted with interested stakeholders, including international translators of ELSST, who represent a wide number of European archives, and now have a wish list for the new application. We have also presented our progress and plans at IASSIST.

We are in the process of refining our requirements. The functions that we will be researching further for potential inclusion in the application, are:

  • annual, version-controlled releases
  • a way of visualising the thesaurus
  • online, click-through licence for users
  • search and browse facility
  • inclusion, potentially, of Concept Groups

These functions represent a few of the high-level priorities. There are also a number of other, system-level, technical requirements which are being researched an in-depth, technical level and we are starting the work to make them become a reality.

For more information, consult our blog pages or get in touch. We would be very happy to hear from any interested parties who would like to feed into this process, or who would be interested in keeping touch about the project’s progress.


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