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Linked Open Research Data for Social Science Pilot Study (LORDpilot)

Current Project

Project Management


Project Period

June 1, 2022 - July 31, 2023

Funded by

German Research Foundation (DFG)

In Cooperation With

Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS)
German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)

The re-use of research data is an integral part of research practice in the social and economic sciences. To find relevant data, researchers need adequate search facilities. However, a comprehensive, thematic search for research data that is not limited to individual survey programs is difficult. Because individual survey programs use their own terminology to describe their data and the documentation often does not link the measured theoretical constructs to the data, it takes a lot of effort for researchers to identify relevant or comparable data. Fragmentation of data documentation significantly limits data searches and thus the research potential of existing data collections. The specific challenge for improving data search therefore lies in establishing a concept-based indexing of research data. Because there is currently no semantic model for indexing data content, research infrastructures need a technology for the harmonized semantic indexing of their research data. The LORD infrastructure aims at closing this gap by developing a registry of sociological and economic concepts and, following the FAIR principles, making this concept registry generally available for the scientific community.

The ‘LORDpilot’ project evaluates the practicability of a Concept Registry for the social and economic sciences, develops a basic data model for the Concept Registry and a user-friendly application. To this end, exemplary for a selection of overlapping content of important data collections in the disciplines (ALLBUS, SOEP, Nacaps) concepts are identified, questions and variables are linked to the concepts, and relationships across the concepts between the data collections are established. Theoretical concepts are identified through intellectual analysis and comparison, as well as research on measurement tools and dataset-related publications. For the technical implementation, we use standards of the Semantic Web. Linking the concepts with descriptors from the SKOS-compliant thesauri "Thesaurus Social Sciences" (TheSoz) and "Standard Thesaurus Economics" (STW) enhances the effectivity of searches in the concept database and directly integrates the concept vocabulary into the Linked Open Data (LOD) cloud. The modelling language UML (United Modeling Language) is used to create the data model, and the links between concepts are created and managed in the form of so-called RDF triples.

For more information please write an e-mail to

DIW Team