What is it?
OECD’s StatLink is an electronic publishing solution that enables links between publications, whether they are in print or e-book format, and the underlying data in MS Excel spreadsheets. StatLink uses the Digital Object Identifier technology (DOI) which is an emerging international standard for identifying published material on line.
There are many benefits for both users and the organisation in using this technology.
What it means for our users…
MS Excel downloads of figures used in tables that can be tailored for users’ own needs.
Access to the most up-to-date documents, data and graphs.
Access to the underlying data of a table.
Data spanning a longer time period than that available in a printed publication.
What our users think…
"This is excellent!! - More like this would be great!" - (Senior Policy Analyst, Canada)
"I have accessed the Web book for the OECD STI Scoreboard - it is wonderful to be able to see the numbers behind the charts!!" - (Policy Adviser, Australia)
"The Web book edition is great. It is extremely useful to be able to access the data in Excel. Well done!" - (Scoreboard user in the UK)
"This is the best service I have found for a long time." - (A user at the University of Tampere, Finland)
"Yesterday I had the chance to go through your Statlink service, I think it has real promise, much easier to navigate than many sites, and nicely presented. I can see it being really popular." - (Senior Economist, UNCTAD).
What it means for OECD Publishing…
More dynamic, up-to-date data that can be updated independently of the main publication.
Content that can be identified more easily and traced back to the publication from which it came.
Tighter controls on copyright as all pieces of information will contain the OECD copyright.
Documents that act as standalone entities that can be searched and accessed through online search engines such as Google.
Our goal is that each piece of data in an OECD publication will contain a StatLink revealing Excel spreadsheets of the data underlying the tables and graphs used. Since 2005, we have been introducing StatLink to our publications progressively starting with some statistical titles and some of our analytical annuals and Outlooks.
Today, most of our statistical annuals and Outlooks as well as our Economic Surveys have StatLinks. Downloads of StatLink files have increased from about 500 000 the first year (2005-2006) to close to over 1.2 million today (2008-2009).
How does it work?
For each StatLink you will find a url which leads to the corresponding spreadsheet. These links work in the same way as an Internet link. In an electronic publication the user can click the link to access the data. For print publications the user will need to type the link address into an Internet browser. Examples are given below.
to see what StatLink looks like.
A StatLink, like the DOI on which it is based, is a persistent identifier in that, once registered, it never changes. This means that even if the destination of the file has moved the StatLink will still be able to locate the data. This also means that authors can use the StatLinks when they cite OECD tables in their articles and reports, confident that their readers will be able to follow the link to the underlying data.
OECD Factbook 2009 (www.oecd.org/publications/factbook) is a recent example that uses this technology. Here are a few examples of StatLinks currently in use in this publication.
To see the benefits of a StatLink title in full, why not download the e-book edition of OECD in Figures 2009: www.oecd.org/infigures? Simply scroll through the e-book to find a table of interest and click on the StatLink (bottom right-hand side of each table) to download the matching Excel spreadsheet.
Permanent URL for this page: www.oecd.org/statistics/statlink