Webinars: Data Description with DDI-CDI

The Data Documentation Initiative Alliance recently announced the public review of the new specification, DDI – Cross Domain Integration (DDI-CDI). In order to introduce potential reviewers to the specification, a series of general introductory webinars have been held. Perhaps you already took part in one of them or would like to have a look at them? Please review the slides and recordings.

To follow up on this, we are now launching a second series of virtual events 1) for specific audiences, and 2) about specific topics.

We are writing to you to invite you to an event focusing on data description with DDI-CDI, which will be held on Wednesday 12th August at 14:00 UTC and we plan to host a follow-up workshop, a week later, to allow more detailed discussion on 19th August 2020 at 14:00 UTC. Attendees are asked to register using the following links:

Presentation and discussion, 12 August: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2796701692183077903

Discussion workshops, 19 August: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3437775245292851727

The webinar on data description focuses on:

  • understanding the meaning of data;
  • cross-domain exchange;
    • harmonization, including e.g. the same measurement represented in different data structures, and
    • different measurements are being compared;
  • transformation across structures and platforms


DDI-CDI is a model-driven specification that is designed to provide support for the wide number of use cases that use data from multiple sources and domains. It originates from the  Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) sciences, but is designed to be applicable to data coming from any domain. Integrating data across domain and disciplinary boundaries requires a flexible mechanism for describing disparate data sources, and their provenance and processing. DDI-CDI is designed to meet these emerging needs for the integration of data in old and new forms, coming from a variety of domains.

Cross Domain (Data) Integration is particularly important for grand challenge research areas that necessarily combine data of many types. CODATA sees great potential in DDI-CDI as a contribution to the International Science Council-endorsed Decadal Programme ‘Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges’. Consequently, CODATA through the Decadal Programme will partner with DDI in the public review process, assisting in getting feedback.

DDI-CDI aims to be technology agnostic and to be adaptable to any platform or representation. At the moment the DDI-CDI specification is provided as a formal UML model and as an XML syntax representation of that model: we are keen to adapt it to other technologies and representations, including RDF, JSON, Python etc.

Some resources:

To prepare for the event

At the event, data description using DDI-CDI will be introduced, followed by a structured discussion between the audience and people from the DDI-CDI team, with the event lasting for an hour. Please take a look at the draft presentation.

We would also kindly ask you to think about the following questions in advance of the event:

  • Are there data structures that you commonly use that we don’t seem to have covered?
    • What are they?
    • Do you see potential in DDI-CDI for needs that you currently haven’t met?
  • What have we missed?

We are looking forward to meeting you at the events!


Joachim Wackerow
Chair, DDI Alliance Scientific Board