New version of the ODISSEI Portal – Find datasets and their access conditions

17 April 2024

We are happy to present a new updated version of the ODISSEI Portal. In this new version of the Portal we implemented a first prototype of the so-called Data Access Broker (DAB). In addition, more information is available, for instance through ELSST, to improve the search results. The ODISSEI team also worked on a Dutch translation of the user interface. With this new version we introduce an even more user-friendly Portal for the social sciences community. We are happy to explore the different new features and what they mean to you as a user.

Data Access Broker

The Portal not only allows users to find datasets but also includes information about their access conditions. The new release of the Portal now includes a connection to a prototype of the so-called Data Access Broker (DAB) – an interface through which users can access open access datasets and request access to restricted datasets. The current DAB prototype provides a direct download link for open access datasets in the DANS Data Station SSH when provided with the dataset’s DOI. For restricted access datasets and datasets from other providers, the DAB links to the webpage where access information of the dataset can be found. The DAB can be accessed from each dataset in the Portal by navigating to the Terms tab and following the link listed under Data Access Place. The DAB prototype will be further developed in the coming period to become a more elaborate system where users can request data from different providers in one go. 

New enrichments of the metadata 

With this new version of the Portal, we also continue to improve the information that is presented to search through the available data. 
Importantly, all metadata records are now enriched with terms from the ELSST, the European Social Sciences Language Thesaurus. ELSST keywords have been translated by the CESSDA consortium into various languages. By adding those keywords as linked data to the Portal’s metadata, users are able to find the metadata in the original language and through all their translations.  
Another enrichment that we have implemented in the Portal is that the metadata of CBS now includes links to the CBS begrippen, allowing records to be found based on those standardised terms. The Portal now also starts to include information about data linkage. In particular, users can now see that the LISS panel data can be linked to the CBS microdata. The presentation of the metadata was further harmonised by mapping metadata from all data providers to the standard Dataverse blocks where possible and including a provider-specific block for all other metadata. 

Translation of the interface

The ODISSEI team has worked on a translation of the user interface into Dutch. The ODISSEI Portal is the first Dataverse interface where this new translation is implemented and tested. ODISSEI has added the Dutch translation to the Dataverse Language Packs to allow other Dutch Dataverse instances to reuse the translations for their interfaces as well.

Further developments

The Portal will be further developed and improved until the end of 2024 by ODISSEI, DANS, VU and SURF as part of the ODISSEI Roadmap project.
As outlined above, we will further develop the DAB prototype to streamline data access and make it easier for users to request access from multiple data sources. We also still invite other data providers to make their metadata available through the Portal so that even more datasets become discoverable for the ODISSEI community. Last but not least, we plan to automate the ingestion pipeline of the ODISSEI Portal: While so far a new version of the Portal has been released every 4-6 months with a static harvest of the available metadata, we plan to have a version of the Portal where new and updated metadata is automatically harvested on a weekly basis. 

The ODISSEI Portal prototype is freely available at

About the ODISSEI Portal

The ODISSEI Portal combines metadata from a wide variety of research data repositories into a single interface, allowing for advanced queries to support findability, and facilitate data access to social science datasets in the Netherlands. The Portal includes metadata from CBS, DANS, LISS, DataverseNL and HSN, the Historical Sample of the Netherlands. Since the last release, we have added additional records including new metadata records from CBS microdata so that in this release more than 8,000 social science datasets are available in the Portal.

For more information about the Portal or to provide feedback, please contact the ODISSEI team by email.

A screenshot of the ODISSEI Portal

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Ricarda Braukmann Ph.D.

Data Station Manager Social Sciences