The ELSST Thesaurus has been updated

26 September 2023

The European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST) is a broad-based, multilingual thesaurus for the social sciences. In September 2023, the latest version of the ELSST was released. Find out about some of the most important changes here.

The ELSST is a broad-based, multilingual thesaurus for the social sciences. It is available in sixteen languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish. DANS-er Widia Mahabier contributed to the Dutch translation.

In the DANS Data Station Social Sciences and Humanities, while depositing your data, it is possible to select keywords from the ELSST.

This new version incorporates last year’s changes, including the revision of the CIVIL STATUS hierarchy and the introduction of new concepts (terms) reflecting changes in working and learning environments associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. A major focus in the latest content development phase is on increasing diversity and inclusivity of the concepts. The approach is outlined in the new inclusivity statement and described in a presentation the ELSST team gave at the IASSIST 2023 conference in May.

All language versions have been updated except for Danish and Romanian where no new translations have been added to this release. In addition, ELSST’s Skosmos interface has been updated, including an additional tab to display new and deprecated concepts. A new tab is now available next to the alphabetical and hierarchical lists, showing new concepts added and concepts replaced by a new concept, all in chronological order.

For more information see the ELSST documentation, including the Version 4 Release notes. Click here to go to the CESSDA news item.


ELSST is owned and published by Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) and its national service providers. The thesaurus is used for data discovery within CESSDA and facilitates access to data resources across Europe, independent of domain, resource, language or vocabulary. It covers the core social science disciplines: politics, sociology, economics, education, law, crime, demography, health, employment, information and communication technology and environmental science.

ELSST is used for searching data within CESSDA and facilitates access to data sources across Europe, regardless of domain, source, language or vocabulary.

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