New version of the ODISSEI Portal contains enriched metadata

Written by the ODISSEI Portal Team

We are happy to present a new version of the ODISSEI Portal. This is the fourth release since our first prototype which was launched in September 2022. 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 more than 7500 social science datasets available at CBS, DANS, LISS, DataverseNL and HSN (The Historical Sample of the Netherlands).

Richer metadata

We continue to improve the information that is available to the user for searching through the available data. In particular, in this new version more metadata is available for the LISS panel datasets. We have included more methodological information, linked publications as well as – when available – information about variables and questions. The metadata for CBS has also been improved and now includes more detailed information about the variables available in the data designs and we include links to the related data that is available in Statline.

Improving findability of CBS metadata

Our previous update of the Portal already included a mapping of the Dutch keywords to English terms in the European Social Sciences Language Thesaurus (ELSST). These keywords are now visible in the metadata as linked terms that are connected to the ELSST vocabulary in the ODISSEI Portal Skosmos environment. Mapping to these translations allows users to find the Dutch CBS metadata records while searching with English terms. 

We also enriched the CBS metadata by providing information about the frequency of use. The frequency of use of CBS microdata was calculated by the ODISSEI Coordination Team on the basis of the information on the Remote Access projects available on the CBS website. Datasets were categorised as having a high, medium or low frequency of use depending on how often a dataset was requested. The search results in the CBS dataverse are weighted on the basis of this frequency of use, so that records with a high frequency are shown on top, making it easier for users to find relevant datasets. Also, hits on the commonly used ‘Alternative title’ are given a higher weight.

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.

We continue to improve the findability of datasets by linking it to existing controlled vocabularies, enhancing the metadata, and tweaking the weights and presentation of the search components. We are also working on improving multilingual search possibilities and assessing user interface improvements. 

Throughout the project, more metadata providers will be added to the Portal with the ultimate goal of giving researchers access to information about all relevant social science datasets in the Netherlands. We encourage data providers from the ODISSEI community to get in touch with the Portal team to make their metadata available in the Portal.

Making data accessible directly through the Portal will be an important aspect of the last year of the project. We are working on the functionalities of a data access broker which enables users to request data directly from the various data providers. 

The ODISSEI Portal prototype is freely available at
For more information about the Portal or to provide feedback, please contact: