We are happy to report the outcome of the July DDI election. Libby Bishop and Johan Fihn Marberg were elected to the Executive Board. Darren Bell, Dan Smith, and Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen were elected to the Scientific Board.
Special thanks to all candidates for their willingness to contribute to the growth and development of the DDI Alliance. Biographies and position statements are listed directly below.
Libby Bishop is the Coordinator for International Data Infrastructures in the Data Archive for the Social Sciences at GESIS Leibniz-Institute for Social Sciences in Germany. GESIS is a service provider to the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). She manages the relationship between GESIS and CESSDA, led a project that built a resource for repository staff, and coordinates additional projects between GESIS and other European research data infrastructures on topics such as digital behavioral data. She is also Team Leader of the GESIS Metadata Standards and Interoperability Team. She recently completed a task on developing remote secure access for sensitive data within the European Open Science Cloud initiative via the Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud Project. Prior to coming to GESIS in 2017, she worked at the UK Archive for almost 15 years, focusing on expanding reuse of qualitative data. Her research explores the methodological and ethical challenges posed when curating data for sharing and reuse.
After one year on the DDI Executive Board, I have learned much, contributed some, and have an even deeper appreciation for the DDI enterprise. One of my goals from last year was to engage with global digital research infrastructures and share my experiences from US, UK and European perspective. This has certainly happened. Even more striking has been the rapid ascent of cross-domain challenges, including substantive (from social to climate sciences), but also methodological (from social to computational social sciences (CSS)). With many CSS colleagues at GESIS, I can continue the urgent work of improving cross-domain communication. My second goal from a year ago concerned integrating new forms of data, especially digital behavioral data (DVD). Here I can now look forward to more “messy hands” work. GESIS will be developing metadata enhancements for handling DVD this year. These will be passed onto the relevant DDI groups and committees for consideration, with the aim of finding optimal ways for DDI to support research using such data.
Johan Fihn Marberg
Johan Fihn Marberg serves as the Head of IT of the Swedish National Data Service (SND), a position he has held since 2018. SND collaborates with almost 40 higher education institutions and public research institutes to provide researchers with a coordinated and quality-assured system for finding, describing, and sharing research data. Fihn Marberg has a background as a systems developer and has worked with metadata and DDI for nearly 20 years. He has served as a member of the DDI Technical Committee for the last 10 years, and also serves as a member of FORS Scientific Advisory Board.
With my background as both a developer and working in management I will strive to be a bridge between the business part of the alliance and the developers who are using the DDI standard to create software. I aim for the standard to be easy to adopt while still fulfilling the needs of the community.
Darren Bell has worked at UK Data Archive for eleven years, firstly as a data modeler/developer and latterly as Director of Technical Services since the beginning of 2020. He is currently acting PI for the UK Data Service. Prior to 2012, he worked in a variety of roles in both global infrastructure and development in both the public and commercial sectors. His particular technical interests are in linked data, cloud platforms and semantic web and and and latterly the automation and better expression of traditionally administrative practices like access and rights management. His experience with DDI extends back to 2.1 and 3.1 and more recently, championing the implementation of DDI-CDI at the Archive, as a key technology in enabling real-world data integration.
Having worked on the Scientific Board over the last year, latterly as vice-chair with Hilde Orten, I hope we have taken some valuable steps in defining more structured work-plans and objectives for the DDI Alliance. Over the last year, as part of my work representing the UK Data Service’s interests, it has become ever clearer to me that DDI products globally represent best-in-class for domain-specific schema and I would like to contribute both to the further development and promotion of CDI while balancing this against the need for increased adoption and promotion of the core product suite of Codebook and Lifecycle. I also am excited by the prospect of further integration of DDI with RDF practice, particularly in the use of Controlled Vocabularies.
Dan has been a member of the DDI Technical Committee since 2006. Since 2014 he has helped to create the DDI Structured Data Transformation Language (SDTL). He helped design and create the DDI Agency Registry and resolution service. Since 2017 Dan has led the team that created the Convention-based Ontology Generation System (COGS) that is used to author DDI's SDTL standard and upcoming versions of DDI Lifecycle. He has worked on the releases of DDI codebook 2.5 and DDI Lifecycle 3.0 through 3.3.
Dan wishes to share his 18 years of DDI implementation experience with the community as a representative on the DDI Scientific Board. His two main focuses on the Scientific Board will be how to best support and maintain the currently published DDI standards for users and aligning DDI development efforts with new user needs and technologies.
Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen is a researcher at GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany, and has been involved in DDI activities since his start at the Data Archive in 1996. He took part in some of the annual DDI training and workshop series at Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics in Wadern, Germany, where he worked on further development of the standard and published several working papers together with colleagues from the DDI Alliance. Both at GESIS and within CESSDA, he has been actively promoting the DDI standard, and included it into some software applications and standardization projects. These topics were also covered by presentations at IASSIST and EDDI conferences. For several years, he has also been a member of the programme committee of the European DDI User Conference (EDDI). https://www.gesis.org/en/institute/staff/person/wolfgang.zenk-moeltge
As a Social Science researcher with some technical and Computer Science knowledge I am concerned with providing practical solutions with a DDI standard that supports real world use cases. I like the promise of the DDI Alliance to cover the whole data life cycle of research data and to help organizations and individuals to collaborate on the basis of data and metadata. I am convinced that the combination of subject independent standards with standards that are designed to support subject specific research will help to create a vivid working environment for researchers using data and metadata as their basis of knowledge. I would like to continue this work as a member of the DDI Scientific Board.