The ICPSR Thesaurus is a controlled vocabulary system composed of three separate lists: Subject Thesaurus, Personal Names Authority List, and Geographic Names Thesaurus.
Subject Thesaurus is an alphabetical listing of social science subject terms. The scope of this thesaurus is multidisciplinary and is intended to reflect the subject range of the ICPSR archive. Social science disciplines represented include: political science, sociology, history, economics, education, criminal justice, gerontology, demography, public health, law, and international relations.
Personal Names Authority List provides controlled name forms and spellings. Unlike the Subject and the Geographic lists, it is non-hierarchical (there are no broader/narrower, or related term designations). This list is designed to provide name form consistency and, through the use of a "description" (DSC) note field, enable users to distinguish between same or similar names and to determine whether the person/name is appropriate to their indexing or searching needs.
Geographic Names Thesaurus provides guidance on the preferred and/or current names of geographic and geopolitical entities. It is hierarchically arranged using broader/narrower notation, allowing one to navigate the relationships among region, continent, country, and in some cases, cities. Scope notes briefly detailing the history of country name changes are included along with instructions and restrictions for their use and application.
Organization Names Authority List is an alphabetical authority list of name forms for organizations listed in ICPSR metadata as funding agencies or as corporate authors/principal investigators.
Downloadable thesaurus files (in XML)
Bibliography (PDF 12K) of reference documents and thesauri used to prepare the ICPSR controlled vocabulary system
Development of the ICPSR Thesaurus was supported by the National Science Foundation (SES-9977984).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.