About the DDI Alliance

Established in 2003, the Data Documentation Initiative Alliance (DDI Alliance) is an international collaboration dedicated to establishing metadata standards and semantic products for describing social science data, data covering human activity, and other data based on observational methods. 

The DDI Alliance shares a commitment to meet worldwide requirements for publicly available standards and semantic products supporting the documentation and integration of social science data and other data for understanding the human condition. The Alliance’s purposes are to:

  • Oversee the continued development of DDI standards and semantic products, including revisions, corrections, and new releases.
  • Promote the adoption of DDI metadata standards and semantic products by stakeholders such as data producers, data distributors, data libraries, data archives, data users, researchers, and software developers and vendors.
  • Support the development of training programs that encourage the use of these standards for all skill levels of potential adopters.
  • Insofar as possible, ensure compatibility of DDI standards with emerging metadata standards in other fields.
  • Balance the interests of a diverse community of stakeholders through a process that is open, transparent, consensus-driven, and open to recourse.

The membership of the Alliance consists of all stakeholder organizations in good standing that assume responsibility for the development and stewardship of DDI metadata standards and semantic products. Members remain in good standing through payment of annual member dues, provision of in-kind contributions, and adoption of DDI standards and products as appropriate. Membership is open to organizations from around the globe regardless of discipline or sector. 

The Alliance is a contractual, unincorporated collaboration of member institutions governed by its Bylaws. An Executive Director and Executive Board manage the operations of the Alliance, while its scientific and technical work is conducted under the guidance of the Scientific Board. The Alliance maintains a small Secretariat at the Host Institution to administer its day‐to‐day operations. The Alliance is financially self‐supporting through Membership dues; license fees; workshop, symposia, and publication fees; and through external research or training grants and contracts with the Host or a Member Institution.

Become a DDI Alliance Member!

DDI Alliance Foundational Documents: 


Page Last Revised: 28 March 2023