CESSDA Metadata Office (MDO)

About the project

The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) Metadata Office 2020 project (MDO) provides a core conceptual and strategic group to maintain and manage the CESSDA core metadata model and controlled vocabularies, and to provide a “metadata watch”.

It comprises two tasks.

  • Task 1 is led by Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS) with partners in Finland and Norway, as well as the UK Data Service. It covers the ongoing development and update of the CESSDA Metadata Model (CMM) for CESSDA Service Providers (SPs) and tools, and to increase the awareness and understanding of the CMM both within CESSDA and externally. The team also examines and reports on other metadata initiatives and projects outside CESSDA. Work for 2020 includes updating the CMM and its user guide; producing DDI profiles for the Euro Question Bank (EQB) and the CESSDA Data Catalogue (CDC); producing a UML class model for CMM; and developing a tool to validate metadata files against the CDC and EQB profiles.
  • Task 2 is led by the UK Data Service, with partners in Finland, Germany and Norway. It takes forward the management of three key CESSDA controlled vocabulary assets:

European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST)

To maintain authority and relevance, ELSST requires significant management of its multilingual content. New and amended concepts are developed by collaboration across the international team, facilitating ongoing translation. Periodic content releases, made in collaboration with ELSST translators, ensure its currency. During 2020, ELSST will move to a new technical platform, enabling better ontology management, including linked open data and high-profile mapping across international thesauri.

CESSDA Vocabulary Service (CVS)

The CVS is a tool to manage multilingual DDI and CESSDA controlled vocabularies to support social science research. The MDO Task 2 team support this via system development, content management and engagement with international stakeholders. A CVS user group will be established in 2020 to create, manage and quality-assure content, test developments, gather the needs of CV consumers, track and resolve issues.

CESSDA Data Catalogue (CDC)

The CDC includes records from multiple CESSDA SPs, with interest from other organisations. Part of the EOSC marketplace, CDC needs support by enhancing metadata quality and developing the user interface. A CDC user group will be established in 2020 to review content, guide contributors on metadata issues, implement quality measurements, track and resolve issues.

Our contribution

  • Principal Investigator (Task 2): Sharon Bolton, UK Data Archive
  • Project Officers: Lorna Balkan, Jeannine Beeken, Darren Bell (Task 1), UK Data Archive
  • Funder: CESSDA ERIC
  • Dates: January 2019 –December 2022


  • Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS): Kerrin Borschewski, Esra Akdeniz, Tanja Friedrich, Alexander Mühlbauer, Wolfgang Zenk- Möltgen, André Förster
  • Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD): Taina Jääskeläinen, Katja Moilanen, Henri Ala-Lahti
  • Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD): Silje Storviken, Sunniva Hagen, Morten Jakobsen, Anne Marie Try Laundal
  • Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS): Brian Kleiner, Sybil Krügel