DDI at Virtual SciDataCon 2021

DDI activities will be presented at the upcoming Virtual SciDataCon 2021, organised by CODATA and the World Data System, the two data organisations of the International Science Council. Relevant sessions are listed below.

To view the program: PROGRAMME AT A GLANCEFULL PROGRAMME. Please note that registration is free, but participants must register for each session they wish to attend.

Improving Our World One Unit at a Time, Tuesday 20 October, 16:00-17:30 UTC: REGISTER

The current state of the digital representation of units of measure (DRUM) across domains is a significant problem relative to the interoperability of data and it needs to be addressed urgently. Across the scientific disciplines there is a wide variety of knowledge about, focus on, and care with the recording of a unit of measure with each piece of experimental, calculated, modeled, or derived data. Much information is available for annotation of units for humans, however there is no authoritative source for how to represent and store units of measures in digital systems. This is a fundamental problem for data science currently and a major problem for the future integration of large, heterogeneous datasets both within and across disciplines. This session will serve to inform participants of the ubiquity and urgency of the issue, will bring to light additional use cases and pain points, and will increase engagement from multiple stakeholders.

Scientific Vocabularies: needs, status, validity, governance and sustainability, Monday 25 October, 11:00-12:30 UTC and 13:00-14:30 UTC: REGISTER

To maximize semantic interoperability, shared or harmonized terminology is essential: internationally-agreed controlled vocabularies allow different domains to express agreement, and thereby globally integrate data and share a common understanding of the meaning across the natural, social and health sciences, which transcends their traditional boundaries within a humanities context. But harmonisation of the vocabularies is not enough: vocabularies also need to be sustainable and properly governed to enable the inevitable evolution over time as new concepts become relevant, definitions are revised, and older concepts are retired or replaced. It is essential to know which vocabularies to use for a particular purpose, and whether the vocabularies we select are fit for purpose, and most importantly, whether they have been endorsed by an authoritative source (e.g., Science Unions, Scientific Societies). There will be two sessions. The first will be focussed on the scientific validity of the vocabulary, the context it addresses, the community and processes required to govern and sustain it over time, i.e., vocabulary scope, content and governance. The second session will focus on the technical aspects of building, preserving and making a vocabulary FAIR and accessible online.

DDI-CDI: The Challenge of Cross-Domain Data Integration, Tuesday 26 October, 13:00-14:30 UTC and 16:00-17:30 UTC: REGISTER

This panel examines the development and use of the Data Documentation Initiative’s Cross-Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) specification. DDI-CDI provides a model for the enhanced metadata and documentation needed when integrating data which comes from different domains, characterized by diverse structures and provenance. This is a double session. The first part will focus on the capabilities of DDI-CDI and how it complements other metadata standards for meeting the breadth of requirements in a cross-domain scenario. The second part will look at specific implementations and the challenges of adoption and support of standards used in data sharing between domains. The focus of this part if to illustrate in a real sense the challenges to be met, and to look atthe solutions which suggest themselves based on experience.

Interoperability of Metadata Standards in Cross-Domain Science, Wednesday 27 October, 16:00-17:30 UTC: REGISTER

Over the past few years (2018, 2019), CODATA and the DDI Alliance have collaborated on a Dagstuhl Workshop the objective of developing an improved ‘understanding of how metadata specifications (and other semantic artefacts, such as vocabularies and ontologies) can be aligned to support cross-discipline (or cross domain) data integration and analysis’. This activity is a key contribution to the ISC CODATA Decadal Programme: ‘Making data work for cross-domain grand challenges’. This session will report on the 2021 workshop, hosted in hybrid format at Dagstuhl and virtually: ‘Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research: Use Cases for Metadata Standards’; and the sister workshop held virtually in Australian time zones: Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research: FAIR Vocabularies. As well as presenting the outcomes of these workshops, this session will serve as a conclusion of this strand on interoperability. The presenters will outline a summary of implications and a vision for future work which session participants will be invited to discuss and critique.

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