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Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives

ELSST Concept Scheme

ELSST is currently available as a SKOS concept scheme. Concepts, their labels, relations and notes are the basic notions for an RDF / SKOS concept scheme.

  • Concepts are ‘units of thought’ that exist in a domain. Concepts are represented by terms. In SKOS concepts are formalised as skos:concept, identified by dereferenceable URIs (URLs). In Skosmos, URIs are shown on each concept page.

  • Terms are the actual names used to refer to a concept. For example POLITICAL PROTEST, POLIITTINEN VASTARINTA, and POLITIČNI PROTEST are all labels for the same concept in English, Finnish and Slovenian, respectively.

    Labels are expressed by means of SKOS predicates:

    • skos:prefLabel is used for ‘Preferred Terms’ in classical thesaurus terminology
    • skos:altLabel is used for ‘Non-Preferred’ or ‘Use For’ terms in classical thesaurus terminology.
  • Relations

    • Hierarchical relations between concepts are expressed in SKOS by the predicates skos:broader and skos:narrower, which correspond to the classical thesaurus relations Broader/NarrowerTerm (BT/NT).
    • Non-hierarchical relations express a notion of ‘relatedness’ between concepts and are represented in SKOS via the skos:related predicate, which corresponds to the classical thesaurus relation Related Term (RT).
  • Notes

    • Definitions are expressed as ‘skos:definition’
    • Scope Notes are expressed as ‘skos:scopeNote’
    • History Notes are expressed as ‘skos:historyNote’
    • Definition Sources are expressed as ‘xkos:additionalContentNote’

The table below shows the correspondence between SKOS/XKOS names, those used in Skosmos (see Using ELSST).

skos:concept Concept
skos:prefLabel Preferred term
skos:altLabel Entry term
skos:broader Broader concept
skos:narrower Narrower concept
skos:related Related concept
skos:definition Definition
skos:scopeNote Scope note
skos:historyNote History note
xkos:additionalContentNote Definition source