Tutorial:Dedicated section versus Statistics Explained
- what are the main differences between a dedicated section and Statistics Explained as dissemination channels?
- which information should be disseminated via a dedicated section and which via Statistics Explained?
- how should they be interlinked?
The answers, elaborated below, can be summarised as follows:
- a dedicated section is a mini-portal for a specific statistical topic or policy area, a set of links to content stored elsewhere, without content of its own except brief introductions;
- Statistics Explained is an online publication platform for published content (which may, but need not be also available as paper/PDF): statistical description/analysis and background information, in the form of text accompanied by tables, graphs and maps.
The defining characteristics of a dedicated section are:
- no own content except brief and general introductions where and if needed;
- portal = set of links to content elsewhere:
- data in database, 'most popular' or main tables;
- metadata (esms files, methodological manuals, ...);
- downloadable PDF publications;
- a selection of highly relevant external links (other European Commission sites, OECD, UN, ECB, WHO, ...).
- and, last but not least, the most relevant part of Statistics Explained (not to its Main page!);
- specific, flexible and topical:
- created or taken out again according to policy and users' needs;
- not necessarily corresponding to stable hierarchy of statistical (sub)themes (although obviously some overlap exists);
- list of dedicated sections, as a result, changes fairly frequently and is more ad hoc and temporary than the stable statistical themes.
The relevant characteristics of Statistics Explained:
- publication platform (both collaboration wiki and dissemination channel) for all Eurostat's published content (to a large extent replacing paper-only publications of the past):
- statistical articles presenting description and analysis of data;
- background articles on methods, nomenclatures, context, ...;
- online publications (= briefly introduced table of contents linking to individual articles);
- glossary items.
- structured in statistical themes:
- user-oriented nomenclature of dissemination output (to be distinguished from Eurostat's producer-oriented organogram and subdivision in units and teams!);
- in principle stable and unchanging;
- at a fairly high and general level (two-level hierarchy, for instance 'Economy and finance' subdivided in 'Balance of payments', 'Consumer prices', 'Government statistics', 'National accounts and GDP', ...);
- linking to further information (portal, but only as a secondary function):
- in Statistics Explained (See also section);
- on the Eurostat portal (Further Eurostat information section: database, main tables, dedicated section, ...);
- on other websites (External links section, also linking to other Commission websites).
Taking into account the different nature and functions of a dedicated section versus Statistics Explained, production units organising statistical dissemination on a particular topic should follow these guidelines:
- no content in a dedicated section, except for relatively short introductions;
- A dedicated section should be an overview and start page where users can access all information on a particular topic which however is stored elsewhere and reached through links.
- publish commented data and metadata via Statistics Explained
- Use Statistics Explained to publish statistical articles and background articles at different levels of detail, online publications (coherent sets of articles which may be converted to a paper/PDF version) and glossary items defining terms.
- cross-link the dedicated section and Statistics Explained at a deep level:
- For maximum user value:
- on the dedicated section page (top left) provide a specific deep link to Statistics Explained: to a theme entry or theme category page (see overview]), to a statistical or methodological topic category, or even to one single article.
- in Statistics Explained each article contains a subchapter 'Dedicated section' where a link to the relevant dedicated section(s) is provided.
- Complemented by other content dissemination channels like press releases, derived statistical and methodological PDF publications, online database, main (most popular) tables, metadata files, ...
- Statistical themes with a lot of articles have a theme entry page, for the others with few pages the alphabetical theme category page is sufficient.