CESSDA Ontology Management System

About the project

The current European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST) multilingual thesaurus management system, hosted by the UK Data Service, is reaching the end of its life.

During 2019, within Task 2 of the CESSDA Metadata Office project (MDO), detailed requirements for the replacement of ELSST were compiled. In conjunction with this, testing of a VocBench + SKOSMOS open-source thesaurus management solution was undertaken. The Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) Ontology Management System project takes this work forward alongside MDO Task 2, which covers content management of ELSST. Content migration into the replacement thesaurus management system takes place in 2020. The system will be tested thoroughly in collaboration with international partners and user documentation for content management and translation prepared prior to launch, to support the system.

In the longer term, the introduction of an integrated system for linked data covering controlled vocabularies is desirable. The replacement of ELSST provides an opportunity to lay its foundations. This would consolidate the management of all CESSDA ontological structures, reduce maintenance costs and unify infrastructure.

Our contribution

  • Principal Investigators: Darren Bell and Sharon Bolton, UK Data Archive
  • Project Officers: Lorna Balkan and Jeannine Beeken, UK Data Archive
  • Funder: CESSDA ERIC
  • Dates: January-December 2020


  • Finnish Social Science Data Archive (FSD): Taina Jääskeläinen, Henri Ala-Lahti