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UNBIS Thesaurus and Linked Data Services

About Linked Data Services

The United Nations’ platform for linked data services is hosted by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library. More resources and taxonomies will be posted on this space as they become available.

Contact Us for more information. 

Additional Resources

Quick Facts

UNBIS Thesaurus

  • over 8,000 concepts in each of the 6 languages
  • over 1,500 English terms with scope notes
  • mapped to EuroVoc

FAQs about the UNBIS Thesaurus

About the UNBIS Thesaurus

The UNBIS Thesaurus is a multilingual database of the controlled vocabulary used to describe UN documents and other materials in the Library's collection.

The UNBIS Thesaurus grows as new topics are introduced to the agenda of the Organization and evolves as the language in the UN documents shifts over time. Controlled vocabulary makes subject searches possible by identifying documents on the same concept, even as terminology changes.

UNBIS Thesaurus terms are used in the UN Digital Library. In addition, other UN programmes, funds and regional commissions use the UNBIS Thesaurus for description of bibliographic materials and web content.

The UNBIS Thesaurus is available online in the six official UN languages, and for download in csv or ttl formats.

If you would like to contribute to the UNBIS Thesaurus, please send us your suggestions.

Search tips and more information on the UNBIS Thesaurus can be found in our guide.

 

Metadata.un.org

History of the UNBIS Thesaurus

This online database represents the fourth edition of the UNBIS Thesaurus and the first in all the official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The third edition (1995) of the Thesaurus was trilingual; it was a major undertaking to have the nearly 7,000 terms translated into three additional languages. The first, preliminary, online version was launched in November 2001.

While the current version features some significant improvements, it too represents but a stage in the development of the Thesaurus, and comments on this product are welcome.

Search Tips

  • There may be issues with using metadata.un.org on the Internet Explorer browser, Chrome and Firefox browsers are recommended to access the site instead. 
  • Users can browse terms by concept or alphabetically.  Terms are organized in a hierarchy, with related, broader and narrower terms indicated for each term.
  • Search for terms using the search box in the native language of the interface, with a drop-down menu providing suggested terms.  
  • Search results are sorted by relevance as default, but can also be sorted alphabetically
  • Truncation searching at the end of a term is enabled in the search, with or without using an asterisk (*).
  • Phrase searching (using quote marks to keep keywords grouped together) like "sustainable development" does not work in the search. 
  • Not all scope notes have been translated into all the languages, when not available consult the English language equivalent term for further information. 
  • Search operators
    • AND: to search for sustainable AND development enter +sustainable +development in the search
    • OR: to search for charter OR treaty enter |charter |treaty in the search
    • NOT: to search for export NOT trade enter export -trade in the search