News

New Executive Board Chair and Vice Chair

In their November 2021 meeting, the Executive Board elected a new Chair (Bill Block, Cornell University) and Vice Chair (Barry Radler, University of Wisconsin-Madison).

The Chair and Vice Chair serve two year terms.  In addition to leading the Executive Board, which is the policymaking and oversight body of the DDI Alliance, the Chair and Vice Chair also lead the Annual Meeting of the DDI Membership Representatives.

Special thanks to Steve McEachern, Australia Data Archive (ADA), who served the previous three consecutive terms as Chair of the Executive Board.

New DDI Glossary Working Group

A new working group has been formed under the auspices of the Scientific Board to produce, maintain, and update the DDI Glossary of terms.  The DDI Glossary is a resource that users may consult for gaining a better understanding of DDI products. Other standards development efforts produce glossaries for their user communities - an example within the national statistical office community is the UNECE Statistical Metadata Glossary. SDMX maintains a glossary of their terms, too, at SDMX Glossary.

The Glossary Working Group is led by Dan Gillman.  The WG are looking for other participants to join them.  Please contact Dan (Gillman.Daniel@bls.gov) to join.

EDDI 2021 Training Fair

The DDI Training Group has organized a series of tutorials around the upcoming EDDI 2021 users conference. This includes a general overview of the DDI standards on Friday, November 26, followed by a series of more detailed tutorials on Monday November 29, and a session describing the software tools and services available for implementing DDI.

More information and links to registration can be found at: 

https://www.eddi-conferences.eu/eddi-2021/eddi-2021-training-fair-26-29-11/

All of the EDDI 2021 events are free of charge, and are open to anyone who is interested. The sessions will be virtual, and will be recorded.

Welcome New Member: HiveWorx

The DDI Alliance welcomes HiveWorx (Mubashar Ghafoor, member representative) as an Associate Member!  HiveWorx is technology firm specializing in healthcare terminology, data governance, and advanced analytics.

Event Reports: Expert Workshops in September 2021

The DDI Alliance, CODATA and other partners organised three workshops in September 2021 on topics relating to FAIR data sharing and implications for data and metadata management. Two of the workshops were hybrid in format, using the Schloss Dagstuhl location in conjunction with other remote locations and participants. The third workshop in Australia was a purely virtual event due to COVID restrictions. 

The topics of the workshops were as follows:

  • Further Development of the DDI Cross Domain Integration Model for FAIR Data Sharing across Discipline and Domain Boundaries, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics, Wadern, Germany, September 20-24, 2021 [LINK TO REPORT]
  • Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research: Use Cases for Metadata Standards, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics, Wadern, Germany, September 27 to October 1, 2021 [LINK TO REPORT]
  • Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research: FAIR Vocabularies, Canberra, Melbourne, and other sites in Australia, September 27 to October 1, 2021 [LINK TO REPORT]

The workshop on DDI-CDI focused on technical topics which provided input to the subsequent workshop on use cases for metadata standards.

The two workshops on ‘Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research’ built on the outcomes of two previous Dagstuhl Workshops in 2018 and 2019 on the alignment of standards and technologies for cross-domain data integration. 

The workshops were organised as a cooperative effort between CODATA and the DDI Alliance by the long-time organizing team Simon Cox, Arofan Gregory, Simon Hodson, Steven McEachern, Hilde Orten, and Joachim Wackerow. Additional organizers contributed to specific workshops: Rowan Brownlee, Kheeran Dharmawardena and Lesley Wyborn. Profound thanks go to Schloss Dagstuhl - the Leibniz Center for Informatics for continuing to provide an excellent meeting facility and support for these efforts.

Provisional Program Published for European DDI User Conference

The 13th Annual European Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) User Conference (EDDI21), "DDI - The Basis of Managing the Data Life Cycle," will be held virtually 30 November - 1 December 2021.

   *   Conference Days: November 30 - December 1, 2021

   *   Hosts: Sciences Po, Center for Socio-Political Data (CDSP), CNRS, Paris

   *   Conference web page: https://eddi21.sciencesconf.org

 

The provisional program is now available at <http://eddi.sciencesconf.org/program> and consists of 25 presentations in 6 different thematic slots.  EDDI21 is organized jointly by the Center for Socio-Political Data (CDSP) <https://cdsp.sciences-po.fr/en/>, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences <http://www.gesis.org/en/home/> and IDSC of IZA <http://idsc.iza.org/> - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.

 

Free registration is expected to open on October 25, 2021.

DDI Alliance Scientific Work Plan, 2021-2022

Dear DDI community,

The Scientific Board of the DDI Alliance is pleased to announce its finalized Scientific Work Plan, 2021-2022.  The Scientific Work Plan is created by the Scientific Board within the frames of the DDI Alliance Strategic Plan, 2021-2023, based on input from the Working Groups and the Technical Committee. We would like to thank the Working Groups and the Technical Committee, as well as the DDI Scientific Community at large, for input to and feedback on this new plan.

The Scientific Work Plan is divided into four sections:

I. Proceedings and Workflow of the new Scientific Board internally and externally

II. Reachable Short-Term Goals for 2021 and 2022

III. Preparations of issues to be covered within the next Scientific Plan for 2023

IV. Long Term Vision for DDI products and processes

We are looking forward to working together with the Working Groups and Committees as well as with the DDI Scientific Community at large, within the frames of the new Scientific Work Plan.

Thank you very much to everyone for your great contribution to the scientific work of the DDI Alliance!

Best wishes,

Ingo and Hilde

Chair and Vice-Chair of the DDI Alliance Scientific Board

DDI Alliance Strategic Plan, 2021-2023

The DDI Alliance is pleased to announce its finalized Strategic Plan, 2021-2023.  We thank the community for their input and feedback on this new plan, including at the annual Meeting of Members and the annual Meeting of the Scientific Community. 

The plan identifies three overarching priorities:

  1. The DDI User Community: how do we engage with the DDI community and understand the community’s needs?
  2. The DDI Alliance as an Organisation: what structures and systems does the Alliance need in order to meet those needs, and how will it maintain those structures and systems in the long term?
  3. Standards and Work Products: what standards and products does the Alliance provide and maintain, and how do those meet the needs of the Alliance and the broader community? 

We look forward to working with the community to carry out the strategic actions described in this new plan.

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.

Welcome New Member: CLOSER

The DDI Alliance welcomes CLOSER (Jon Johnson, designated member representative) as a Full Member!  CLOSER brings together the UK’s world-leading longitudinal studies with participants born throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, to maximise the use, value and impact of longitudinal studies to help improve our understanding of key social and biomedical challenges. Jon Johnson is the Technical Lead at CLOSER, which is part of the Social Research Institute at University College London.