The document "Guidelines for SDMX Concept Roles" (Version 1.0, February 2019) describes SDMX Concept Roles and their use, proposes a cross-domain Concept scheme that defines the set of concept roles (for SDMX 2.1), and gives examples on concept role implementation in both SDMX 2.0 and SDMX 2.1.
A concept role gives a particular context to a concept for easy and systematic interpretation by machine processing and visualization tools. For example, the concepts REPORTING_AREA and COUNTERPART_AREA are different concepts but they are both geographical characteristics, therefore they can be associated with the same concept role ID: “GEO”. This allows visualization systems to interpret these concepts as geographical data in order to generate maps.
The implementation of concept roles is different in versions 2.0 and 2.1 of the SDMX technical standard. Examples for both versions are included in the appendix.