CESSDA Data Catalogue updated

The CESSDA Data Catalogue contains the metadata that describes the data in the holdings of CESSDA’s service providers. It is a one-stop-shop for search and discovery, enabling effective access to European social science research data. CESSDA encourages standardisation of data and metadata, and uses DDI-Lifecycle metadata as the foundation of their Core Metadata Model.  

Over the past few months, work has been undertaken to improve the User Experience and the range and quality of its contents. The updated version of the catalogue went live last month. 

Changes that can be seen by users:

  • Topic/Country/Publisher/Language of data files filters list entries A to Z, rather than listing them depending on whether they were most or least frequently occurring;  
  • language parsing problems have been fixed: the software was failing to recognise that some fields were available in multiple languages, so values were displayed incorrectly.
  • errors with diacritical marks have been fixed;
  • a wider range of date formats can now be read and displayed;
  • fewer clicks are needed to see all the information that makes up a study record;
  • readability of the language menu has been improved;
  • more languages have been added to the list of User Interface languages (now 9);
  • the branding has been refreshed;
  • details of over 30,000 data collections are listed. 
  • These are harvested from fifteen different CESSDA Service Providers.

Changes that affect the quality of the data or responsiveness of the system:

  • added automated Quality Assurance tests that check the source code of all the components that make up the CESSDA Data Catalogue and fixed the reported issues;
  • enabled harvesting of a subset of the records held by a Service Provider (so we can be more specific about the type of content we include);
  • updated some of the libraries and other components that the catalogue is built from, to improve performance and/or reduce the risk of security breaches;
  • extensive quality checks are performed automatically, whenever any changes are made to the code base.

Changes to the catalogue record content:

  • besides the changes to the Data Catalogue software, the study records are being improved. When a study record is seen to be incomplete or incorrect, we have a mechanism for reporting the issue to the Service Provider that curates the record. The process is overseen by the CESSDA Metadata Office.
  • Google structured data search is supported to make it easier for researchers to find CESSDA’s datasets via a Google search.

Users can report any issues with either the working of the CESSDA Data Catalogue or its contents by clicking on the ‘Report a problem’ tab in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. 

The CESSDA Main Office technical staff will be alerted to the report and will investigate it and either deal with it themselves of pass it to the CESSDA Metadata Office (if it relates to the content of the catalogue).

More information:

CESSDA Data Catalogue

contact person: John Shepherdson

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