Seeking DDI Alliance funding requests for the upcoming fiscal year (July 2023-June 2024)

Dear DDI community,

Each year, the DDI Executive Board considers funding requests to support DDI activities. If you have a funding request for the upcoming fiscal year (FY2024, July 2023 through June 2024), please email the request to by April 10, 2023.

Requests should explain the purpose of the request, how it aligns with the Alliance's Strategic Plan, and include an itemized budget for the funding request. If requests are related to scientific or technical activities, the DDI Scientific Board will evaluate the request from the perspective of the Alliance Scientific Work Plan and provide feedback to the Executive Board. Incoming budget requests related to scientific or technical activities will be prioritized according to their level of importance, and a reasoning with pros and cons for each evaluation will be made available, for the purpose of clarity and transparency. Full details about annual budget funding requests are here:

The Alliance's membership dues are used to fund these requests. The budget for the current 2023 fiscal year was finalized in June 2022 and is described in the Executive Board minutes: The FY2022 financial report is part of the 2022 Annual Meeting materials:

Feel free to contact me with questions.


Jared Lyle
Executive Director, DDI Alliance
ICPSR, University of Michigan

Webinar: Register now! ‘Statistical Agencies Using DDI Metadata Standards: Promoting Transparency and Reusability of Data’. Online, 14 April 2023

The second event of the 2023 series of CODATA – DDI Alliance webinars will take place on 14 April at 10:00-11:30 EDT / 14.00-15:30 UTC / 16:00-17:30 CEST.  *Register here to attend!*

Statistical agencies are seeing a much more federated and complex data ecosystem where data flows from one organization to another.  Metadata standards are key to facilitate this movement, including through greater automation to collect, manage, produce, and disseminate data.  Metadata standards simplify sharing, reduce development time, and promote transparency across agencies, especially by ensuring that similar things are described the same way.

In this webinar, we present an international selection of three practical implementations demonstrating how using DDI metadata standards has benefited large statistical agencies.  In the first presentation, Chantal Vaillancourt, Section Manager – metadata infrastructure, Centre for Statistical and Data Standards at Statistics Canada, will discuss Statistics Canada’s modernization towards a robust standards-enabled Enterprise Metadata Ecosystem, which is the foundation for organizational modernization through enabling metadata enabled automated business process, interoperability of data and metadata and transparency to Canadians. Next, Christophe Dzikowski, metadata expert, National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), France will discuss how the DDI can be used in an active manner to drive surveys. Finally, Dan Gillman, Information Scientist, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will discuss how DDI can be applied to describe complex survey microdata and multi-dimensional time series.

Presenters are: Chantal Vaillancourt, Statistics Canada; Christophe Dzikowski, National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), France; Dan Gillman, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The moderator will be Jared Lyle, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).  There will be time for questions and discussion with our expert panel.

This event is free but registration is required. Please register here!

We look forward to seeing you on 14 April!

DDI Scientific Community Meeting (March 28, 2023 from 10:00 to 11:30 EDT/16:00 to 17:30 CEST)

Dear DDI community,

The first DDI Scientific Work Plan of the newly formed Scientific Board covered a 2-year period, January 2021 through December 2022.  The Scientific Board has been reviewing the Scientific Work Plan in preparation for an update.  

The Scientific Work Plan addresses the specific activities and priorities required to address the scientific goals outlined in the Strategic Plan of the DDI Alliance. The Scientific Work Plan is reviewed and approved at the Annual Meeting of the Scientific Community. 

As part of these preparations, the Scientific Board is organizing a virtual meeting of the DDI Scientific Community on March 28, 2023 from 10:00 to 11:30 EDT/16:00 to 17:30 CEST to:

  • Review a 2023 extension of the 2021-2022 Scientific Work Plan
  • Gather input for the 2024-2026 Scientific Work Plan
  • Provide updates about the status and plans for DDI-Codebook, DDI-Lifecycle, and DDI-CDI

We invite anyone interested in the scientific and technical activities of the DDI Alliance to join this meeting.  To join, please register in advance:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the virtual meeting.


Hilde Orten (Chair, DDI Scientific Board)
Darren Bell (Vice-Chair, DDI Scientific Board)

DDI Executive Board Election Results (March 2023)

DDI member representatives voted in late February and early March 2023 to elect one member to the DDI Executive Board. Twenty-one of the 28 voting eligible DDI member representatives participated in the election. According to the Alliance Bylaws, the election is decided on the basis of those candidates getting the most votes.

The election results (number of votes are indicated in parentheses):

  • Jon Johnson (17 designated member representatives voted for Jon; 1 representative marked "Other" without specifying a candidate; 1 representative marked "I do not wish to vote"; 2 representatives opened but did not complete the online election ballot)

The Executive Board is composed of seven voting members: six elected by the Designated Member representatives and one member appointed by the Host Institution. Members serve for a term of four years. The Executive Director serves as an ex officio member, without vote. The Executive Board is the policymaking and oversight body of the Alliance.

I want to thank Jon for accepting the nomination and for his willingness to serve on the Board.  Jon's biosketch and position statement are listed below.



Jared Lyle
Executive Director, DDI Alliance
ICPSR, University of Michigan


Jon Johnson


Jon Johnson is currently Technical Lead at CLOSER, which has been documenting UK longitudinal studies using DDI-Lifecycle for the last 10 years. He has previously worked at the UK Data Archive as part of a project managing smart energy data which used an early iteration of DDI-CDI. Jon is currently exploring ways in which AI and machine learning can be used to enhance and improve the use of metadata in the data lifecycle.

Jon has been active on the DDI Technical Committee since 2013 and has served as its Vice-Chair since 2016. He is also co-chair of the annual European DDI (EDDI) conference, a position he has held from 2017. Jon has a background in survey data management and as a developer in banking and insurance.

Position Statement

I have been involved with the DDI Alliance and the wider DDI community in a number of roles over the last decade. I believe that this has given me a good understanding, not only of the challenges of developing, delivering and supporting standards, and the probably more difficult challenge of encouraging an ecosystem that allows them to be used and flourish. I am standing for the Executive Board as I believe that I can contribute to ensuring that the Executive plays a central role in putting in place a clear strategic vision for the long term health of the products, its associated training, promotion and marketing and prioritizing financially to make that happen.

Webinar: The DDI Variable Cascade: Describing Data to Optimize Reusability and Comparison. Thu 9 March 2023

In the social, behavioural, and economic sciences, data is often described as sets of ‘variables’ – essentially the columns in a table or the answers, respondent-by-respondent, to a question in a survey. The term ‘variable’ is employed by researchers and data managers to describe a range of specific uses of this granular concept, often in ways that lack sufficient clarity to support automation. The DDI variable cascade is a more nuanced model which describes the stages of a variable from conception to its use in a data set. Drawing on other conceptual standards such as the Generic Statistical Information Model (GSIM), DDI provides an implementation mechanism for the increasingly common granular management and reuse of data.

In this webinar, the model behind the variable cascade will be presented, along with the practical implementation of the various types. There will be time for questions and answers with our expert panel. Speakers include: Arofan Gregory, consultant (CODATA); Hilde Orten, Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (Sikt); and Kathryn Lavender, US National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA).

This webinar is free and open to all. For more information or to register, please visit:

Date: Thu 9 March 2023
Time: 15.00-16.30 UTC
Location: online

The CODATA-Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) Training Webinars series is a collaboration to reach new audiences and provide ongoing value to existing users, by demonstrating the value of DDI tools, products and standards to those creating, managing and using research data within the social, behavioural, and economic sciences. Find out more about the CODATA-DDI Alliance collaborative webinar series at

Learn more about DDI at

Save the Date: DDI Annual Meeting in Philadelphia (May 30, 13:00-17:00 EDT)

The DDI Alliance will host a combined Annual Meeting of Members and Annual Meeting of the Scientific Community on Tuesday, May 30th, from 13:00-17:00 EDT, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (in connection with the IASSIST conference). This is an opportunity for DDI members and community participants to learn about business, scientific, and technical activities of the Alliance, and provide feedback on priorities for the coming year.

More details about the meeting, including a full agenda, will be distributed the month before the meeting. While the annual meeting will be in person, we expect to offer virtual attendance, too. Past annual meeting materials are available on the DDI web site: We hope to see many of you at the meeting!

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Contient uniquement des ingrédients et des extraits naturels

WorldFAIR Report Underscores Value of DDI Metadata

A new WorldFAIR project ( report describes the data harmonisation practices of comparative (cross-national) social surveys, through case studies of: (1) the European Social Survey (ESS) and (2) a satellite study, the Australian Social Survey International – European Social Survey (AUSSI-ESS). The report underscores the importance of using standards --including DDI -- for the management of data and metadata.

To view the full report:
McEachern, Steven, Orten, Hilde, Thome Petersen, Hanna, & Perry, Ryan. (2023). WorldFAIR Project (D6.1) Cross-national Social Sciences survey FAIR implementation case studies (1.1). Zenodo.

Registration Open: DDI, FAIR, and the Emergent Role of Active Metadata: A CODATA-DDI Alliance Webinar for the RDA Decade of Data

It is widely accepted that the FAIR data principles highlight the importance of metadata. The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) community has decades of experience in supporting data production and reuse within the social, behavioural, and economic sciences through the publication and use of detailed, machine-actionable metadata specifications. This webinar explores the lessons that have been learned over that time, and how these lessons can be applied more broadly in the context of FAIR data sharing. The importance of granular metadata to data management practices is clear, but increasingly the ability to leverage metadata in an active capacity – to drive production, management, and dissemination – is growing in importance. With the advent of FAIR, the need for cross-domain exchange of metadata is also growing, and the DDI specifications are evolving to meet that need. More than ever, alignment and coordination among metadata standards and models is needed. This webinar looks at how granular, active metadata can better support research data management both within and across domains, and should be of interest to a broad set of the groups working in RDA.

Time: May 4, 2023 03:00 PM in Paris

To register:

Seeking Nominations for DDI Executive Board Vacancy

Dear DDI community,

The Executive Board, which is the policymaking and oversight body of the Alliance, is seeking to fill a vacancy. If you are interested in serving on the Executive Board or know of someone else who would make a good candidate, please email me (lyle [at] by 3 February 2023. We will hold an election in February to fill the vacancy.

Bill Block, Executive Board Chair, is copied on this message. Feel free to reach out to Bill or me with questions.



Jared Lyle
Executive Director, DDI Alliance
ICPSR, University of Michigan
lyle [at]

DDI Developers Hackathon - Registration and Submission of Challenges now open

Dear all

As you might know from our previous Save-the-Date Mail and the invitation at the EDDI Conference in December 2022, we plan to revive the DDI Developers Group which has been dormant since 2014 by organizing a DDI Developers Hackathon at the facilities of the Swedish National Data Service in Gothenburg (Medicinaregatan 18A) from Friday 24th of March until Saturday 25th of March, 2023. In the meantime we finalized the agenda (listed below) and can finally open the registration and submission of challenges for this event. This event is directly following the Research Data Alliance (RDA) plenary in the same week. Therefore we believe some participants could already be at the location saving travel costs.

If you are a developer, software engineer or programmer using or implementing tools around the DDI suite of metadata standards this event might be the chance to exchange ideas with similar people plus during the two days we would like to create some prototypical software implementations of current pain points or needed features for DDI tools.

If you are engaged in DDI related work (e.g. in working groups or any of the boards) you are welcome to submit challenges (i.e. implementation ideas) for the participating hackers, even if you do not participate in person.

The event is sponsored by the DDI Alliance, the Swedish National Data Service (SND) and the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons (FHGR) which will provide catering and the location for the whole event. For a limited number of people also sponsorships for travel costs can be provided if the member organizations cannot sponsor it.

Please register here for the Hackathon:

Please submit ideas for topics (so called challenges) for the participating hackers here:

During the event there will be a Hackathon Bar which provides snacks and drinks for the participating hackers at all times. Additionally there will be lunch and dinner served at fitting times during the implementation phases so hackers can fully concentrate on their tasks. The event will also start with a welcome dinner on Thursday evening and end with a thank you dinner on Saturday evening. As special as all three organizers are craft brewers we will also provide two craft beers especially brewed for this event. All catering will be free of cost.

The results from the Hackathon will be available as Open Source software under a license (e.g. MIT, LGPL) which will allow the use in other Open Source projects as well as commercial products.

We hope to re-create some lasting interest for more IT-related topics within the DDI community. Therefore we are happy for every developer, software engineer, programmer or DevOps person who can make it to Gothenburg.

Best Regards

The DDI Developers Hackathon Organizing Team
Ingo Barkow
Johan Fihn Marberg
Olof Olsson


DDI Developers Group Hackathon 2023 - Preliminary Program

Swedish National Data Service

Medicinaregatan 18A, Gothenburg, Sweden


Thursday, 23 March 2023

From 19:00 Welcome Dinner and Drinks at Station Linné  


Friday, 24 March 2023

09:00 - 10:30


Introduction to the former DDI Developers Group       

Group discussion of proposed topics

10:30 - 11:00

Coffee Break

11:00 - 12:30

Possibility for group establishment

Start of development work


Lunch sandwiches available at Hackathon Bar

12:30 - open end

Possibility for development work

Coffee, Drinks and Snacks available all time at Hackathon Bar

18:30 Pizzas available at Hackathon Bar


Saturday, 25 March 2023

09:00 - 16:00

Possiblity for development work

Coffee, Drinks and Snacks available all time at Hackathon Bar


Lunch sandwiches available at Hackathon Bar

16:00 - 17:00

Presentation of the results of each group

17:00 - 18:00

Discussion of further steps and continuation of work

Discussion of reinstatment of DDI Developers Group



From 19:00 Thank you Dinner