HASSET is our subject thesaurus that has been developed by the UK Data Archive over more than 25 years. It allows you to retrieve data and related documentation accurately and can help you select the most relevant search terms for your area of interest.

The Humanities and Social Science Electronic Thesaurus - HASSET - is embedded in Discover, the search and browse tool of the UK Data Service. HASSET can be explored to prepare search strategies for an advanced search of our data collection. Both the visual graph and the tree structure will display relationships between terms to assist in broadening a search or making it more specific. Cross referencing with alternate terms, and links to related terms, will suggest other concepts to aid your search.

The thesaurus’ subject coverage reflects the subject content of the UK Data Service holdings focusing on the social sciences and humanities. Coverage is most comprehensive in the core subject areas of social science disciplines: politics, sociology, economics, education, law, crime, demography, health, employment, and, increasingly, technology and environment.


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HASSET was initially based on the UNESCO Thesaurus (ISBN: 92-3-101469-2) and is continuously expanded and updated by the UK Data Archive.  As new terms appear in our studies, new terms will be found in the thesaurus.  The Archive has produced an online guide to HASSET to assist new users.

HASSET may be used by other organisations, for example to index materials, provided it is for non-commercial purposes and appropriate acknowledgement is given.  A licence form allowing you to use or adapt HASSET in your own organisation can be requested by contacting the UK Data Service; please address your query to the Thesaurus Team.

HASSET is the basis for the multilingual European Language Social Science Thesaurus (ELSST) which is currently available in thirteen languages.

The UK Data Service has been awarded separate funding to align and enhance HASSET and ELSST. The CESSDA-ELSST Project runs from October 2012 to September 2017.