May 25, 2006
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ernie Boyko, IASSIST; Myron Gutmann, ICPSR; Hans Jorgen Marker, Danish Data Archive; Marc Maynard, Roper Center; Ron Nakao, Stanford University; Mary Vardigan, ICPSR
This brief meeting of the DDI Steering Committee was convened to discuss DDI tools development and the role the DDI Alliance should play in this area in terms of funding the creation of tools. With the move to DDI Version 3.0 and its added functionality and complexity, good tools are seen as essential.
The point was raised that ICPSR in its role in the DataPASS partnership (a Library of Congress funded project to preserve at-risk social science data) was developing an Expression of Interest in response to a Library of Congress RFP for tools and other infrastructure for preservation. The Expression of Interest was focused on the construction of an open-source tool to assist data producers in marking up documentation from the beginning of their projects. The Steering Committee gave its approval to include the DDI Alliance as a supporting partner in the effort. It was decided that the Alliance would not contribute funds should the project be approved but that members of the Alliance might volunteer time to the project as a resource.
The committee also supported the notion of registries for DDI information (e.g., question text, geographic entities), which would help to reinforce best practice and consistency. While this is important, it may take a while before such registries are established and in active use by the DDI community.
The committee reviewed the financial status of the Alliance, which will end the fiscal year (June 30) with a positive balance. Expenditures have increased in recent years as a result of the continuing telephone conference calls used by the working groups to meet throughout the year and the support of XML consultants who have created the DDI Version 3.0 schema and data model. New members continue to join the Alliance, which is positive for the organization.