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CIESIN Indexing Vocabulary, Version 2.2


The CIESIN Indexing Vocabulary was developed to index data resources and datasets related to human interactions in global change. Metadata records containing the CIESIN Indexing Vocabulary can be found in SEDAC Data Browse and Search results, and WDC Data Browse and Search results.

This section represents a revised and restructured version of the CIESIN Indexing Vocabulary version 2.1 developed in 1997. The CIESIN Location Indexing Terms were last revised 7 June 2002. The CIESIN Indexing Terms have not been revised since 1997.

The CIESIN Indexing Vocabulary is composed of two entities:

1. CIESIN Indexing Terms

CIESIN Indexing Terms consist of a controlled thesaurus of socioeconomic and environmental parameters or indicators arranged according to nine Science Data Domains or "Topics":

  • Within each of the Topics, the parameters are organized in a hierarchical relationship of "Term" (broader term) and "Variable" (narrower term). The general structure of CIESIN Indexing Terms is thus:


    policy and institutions
      treaty regime
        treaty compliance

For example:

CIESIN > Agriculture and Food Security > Agricultural Diseases
CIESIN > Agriculture and Food Security > Agricultural Diseases > Animal Diseases


2. CIESIN Location Indexing Terms

CIESIN Location Indexing Terms is a controlled vocabulary developed to represent the geographical, geopolitical, and spatial coverage of socioeconomic and environmental data resources.

The location terms are arranged in categories, rather than hierarchically, as follows:

  • Continent/Region
  • Country/Island
  • Water Body

Country and Island names are from the CIA World Factbook, Washington, D.C.: Central Intelligence Agency, 2001. Retrieved May 23, 2002 from

CIESIN Indexing Vocabulary's USMARC source code is: "ciesiniv". The thesaurus is listed in the USMARC Code List for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions (1996).

CIESIN Indexing Vocabulary, Version 2.2
CIESIN Home Page

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