CESSDA Vocabulary Service (CVS) is a resource that will simplify the use of CESSDA's controlled vocabularies (CVs). In CVS, the user can scroll between vocabularies and download translations to a number of languages. The Swedish translations have now been published in CVS.
The majority of CVs that are published with CESSDA are created in English by the DDI Alliance. DDI, an abbreviation of The Data Documentation Initiative, is an international standard for data descriptions. The vocabulary translations have been made by CESSDA’s members in various countries. The Swedish translations have been made in SND by Rufus Latham and Lisa Isaksson. We sat down to talk to Lisa Isaksson about controlled vocabularies and about translating them.
What is a controlled vocabulary?
Controlled vocabularies are standardised codes that describe elements in research data. By assigning controlled and fixed names and descriptions to the elements, users can search for research data in a more unified way. Repositories and other databases use them in order to structure and index research data. There are also free vocabularies, but using controlled vocabulary makes it easier to coordinate catalogues and increases the findability of data.
Why do you translate the vocabulary?
The purpose of CVS is to make it easier for researchers who search data in CESSDA’s catalogue. You can search in Swedish and get hits on the same elements in other languages. CESSDA Vocabulary Service is an EU project which aims to connect as many European countries as possible. The goal is to achieve homogeneity across Europe.
What has your translation work been like?
As a translator, you work with the names and descriptions of the coded elements. I’m still fairly new to the vocabularies in research data management, so it's been a good learning experience to review, translate and publish these sets of CVs. My background from working with terminologies and languages for specific purposes in the translation industry gives me a different angle, and sometimes means that I can see things that might otherwise have been missed. These forms of vocabularies are quite organic, so they occasionally need to be revised and updated.
Try it out: CESSDA Vocabulary Service.