Expert Workshops in September

The DDI Alliance, CODATA and other partners are organising three workshops in September.  These will be hybrid in format, using the traditional Dagstuhl location in conjunction with other remote locations and participants.  The topics of the workshops are as follows:

The workshop on DDI-CDI will inform on a technical level the subsequent workshop on use cases for metadata standards.

The two workshops on ‘Interoperability for Cross-Domain Research’ build on the outcomes of two previous Dagstuhl Workshops in 2018 and 2019 on the alignment of standards and technologies for cross-domain data combination. These two workshops, taking place in different time zones will collaborate at specific times in the day.

The ideas for all workshops were developed within the cooperation of CODATA and DDI Alliance by the long-time organizing team Simon Cox, Arofan Gregory, Simon Hodson, Steven McEachern, and Joachim Wackerow. Additional organizers contribute to specific workshops: Rowan Brownlee, Hilde Orten, and Lesley Wyborn.

Participation is by invitation only.

DDI Alliance / CODATA Training Webinar Series Continues

"Data Integration: Using DDI-CDI with Other Standards" -- the third webinar of the DDI Alliance / CODATA Training Webinar series -- will take place on 2 September 2021 at 14:00 UTC.  

A developing product of the DDI Alliance, DDI - Cross Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) is intended to fill the emerging need for integration of data from different disciplinary domains. It is designed to connect disparate forms of data and metadata, whether they are described in DDI Codebook/Lifecycle or in any other fashion.  

This webinar will provide a general introduction to the specification using cross-domain data integration examples and showing how DDI-CDI, in combination with other standards, can facilitate the integration of disparate data. The automated aspects of FAIR data reuse across different sources will be demonstrated, based on the granular description provided by DDI-CDI working in combination with existing metadata.


For information about upcoming Webinars in the series, please see:

DDI Executive Board Election Results

DDI member representatives voted in July 2021 to elect four members to the DDI Executive Board.  This followed a call for nominations in April and discussion of the candidates at the June annual Meeting of Members.  

The DDI Executive Board is  composed of seven voting members: six At-Large members elected by the Designated Member Representatives and one member appointed by the Host Insitution.  Members serve for a term of four years. The Executive Board is responsible for managing the operations of the Alliance, including setting overall policy and budget.

Fifteen 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):

  • Cory Chobanik (14)
  • Steve McEachern (14)
  • Barry Radler (13)
  • Cathy Fitch (12)

I want to thank Barry, Cathy, Cory, and Steve for accepting the nominations and for their service on the Board.  Barry, Cathy, and Steve are incumbent members of the Board.  Cory is a new member.  Their biosketches and position statements (when provided) are listed below.

I also want to sincerely thank Dana Müller, who served on the Board from 2017-2021.  Dana's commitment and insights were invaluable.



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


Cory Chobanik


Cory Chobanik is Senior Director, Centre for Statistical and Data Standards at Statistics Canada.  Cory has led significant transformational initiatives throughout his career, with experience and partnerships spanning all three levels of government, the private sector and international organizations. He has led projects with a focus on meta(data), information management and standards domains. He has represented Statistics Canada, on interdepartmental, provincial, national and international committees and working groups, in matters related to information management, meta (data) management, and standards. Also, through various international working groups, Cory has represented Canada on issues concerning standards. Internationally he is a member of the technical and statistical groups for the Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange (SDMX) and is a committee member of UNECE - High-Level Group for the Modernization of Official Statistics (HLG-MOS) - Supporting Standards.

Cathy Fitch


Dr. Catherine A. Fitch is associate director of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation (ISRDI), the home of the Minnesota Population Center and IPUMS data infrastructure projects, at the University of Minnesota. She is also director of the Minnesota Research Data Center (MnRDC). At MPC and ISRDI, Fitch has been involved in the creation of several of the largest social-science databases, most recently working on the IPUMS-USA collection of complete-count American census data from 1790-1940. She used her experience with social science data infrastructure to fund and build the MnRDC, a Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) providing access to restricted and confidential data. Her own research focuses on family and historical demography in the United States. She holds a Ph.D. degree in history and an M.P.P. degree from the University of Minnesota. 

Position Statement 

In the last four years on the DDI Executive Committee, I have been a part of the ongoing conversation about the new strategic plan, and in the last 18 months, conversations about how to adjust plans through the pandemic. In the next four years, I would like to contribute to achieving the goals set out in the new strategic plan as well as how DDI will adjust to post-pandemic realities.

Steve McEachern


Dr. Steven McEachern is Director and Manager of the Australian Data Archive at the Australian National University, where he is responsible for the daily operations and technical and strategic development of the data archive. He has high-level expertise in survey methodology and data archiving, and has been actively involved in development and application of survey research methodology and technologies over 15 years in the Australian university sector. Steve holds a PhD in industrial relations from Deakin University, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Management Information Systems from Deakin University, and a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from Monash University. He has research interests in data management and archiving, community and social attitude surveys, organisational surveys, new data collection methods including web and mobile phone survey techniques, and reproducible research methods. Steve has been involved in various professional associations in survey research and data archiving over the last 10 years, including Chair of the Executive Board of the Data Documentation Initiative, teaching with the Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research Inc. (ACSPRI), and an executive role with the International Federation of Data Organisations (IFDO).

Barry Radler 


Dr. Barry Radler is a Distinguished Researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute on Aging with a background in social science research methods. He manages many aspects of MIDUS (Midlife in the United States), a national longitudinal study of health and well-being. Barry has served as chair of the DDI Marketing and Partnerships group since 2015 and on the Executive Board since 2017.  

Position Statement

For the better part of two decades I have been using DDI products to document a complex multi- disciplinary longitudinal study that has generated an ever-growing body of popular data products. As such I have a vested interest in the DDI Alliance responsibly developing, managing, and promoting the suite of DDI standards and products. I hope to advance those interests by serving on the DDI Alliance Executive Board for another term.

Call for Papers: European DDI User Conference 2021


13th Annual European Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) User Conference (EDDI21),

DDI - The Basis of Managing the Data Life Cycle (30.11 - 01.12.2021) is taking place virtually.

   *   Submission Deadline: September 1, 2021, 23:59 CEST

   *   Date: November 30 - December 1, 2021

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

   *   Conference web page

EDDI21 is organized jointly by the Center for Socio-Political Data (CDSP) <>, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences <> and IDSC of IZA<> - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.

The Data Documentation Initiative <> (DDI) is an international standard for describing the data produced by surveys and other observational methods in the social, behavioural, economic, and health sciences.

The meeting will bring together DDI users and professionals from all over Europe and the world. Anyone interested in developing, applying, or using DDI is invited to attend and present.


Call for Papers

We are seeking presentations, talks, papers, posters on all things DDI:

   *   Case Studies

   *   Mature implementations

   *   Early Implementations

   *   Interplay of DDI with other standards or technologies

   *   Projects in early phases in which DDI is under consideration

   *   Critiques of DDI

The topics of the conference include, but are not limited to:

   *   User Needs, Efficient Infrastructures and Improved Quality

   *   Official Statistics

   *   Reusing and Sharing Metadata

   *   Data Harmonization

   *   Incentives to Document Data

   *   Open Data and Linked Open Data

   *   Privacy and Access Control

   *   Metadata versus Data and Related Ethics

   *   Software / Tools


Proposals are welcome for the following presentation forms.

   *   Complete Session

   *   Full Paper

   *   Regular Presentation

   *   Short Presentation

   *   Tutorial or Workshop

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please have a look at the Call for Papers <>and use the on-line submission system at <> of the conference (opens on June 23, 2021)

   *   The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2021, 24:00 CEST.

   *   Please consider indicating your availability as a reviewer as well.

General Information

   *   For more information about the conference, see the conference web site at <>.

   *   The Program Committee strategically develops, creates and organizes the program <>.

   *   The Organization Committee coordinates the onsite work <>.

   *   For questions or any other correspondence regarding the Call for Papers of EDDI21, please send an email to <mailto:eddi21-prog@googlegroups>.

   *   Last year's program is available at the EDDI20 website <>.

   *   For more information about the EDDI conference series and details on the previous EDDI conferences, look at <>.


We look forward to welcoming you virtually to EDDI21!

Mari Kleemola and Jon Johnson (co-chairs)

on behalf of the EDDI21 Program Committee

Webinar on Implementing FAIR: What DDI Can Do for You!

This Webinar will explain how different DDI products can help to support the implementation of the FAIR principles (guidelines to improve the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse of digital assets).

To register:

DDI Annual Meetings

Dear DDI community,
We invite you to attend our virtual annual meetings this June, including: 
DDI Alliance Annual Meeting of the Scientific Community
June 15, 2021 (Tuesday) 13:00-15:00 UTC
The Meeting of the Scientific Community will discuss DDI technical and scientific developments, including a Scientific Work Plan for the coming year.  The recently reorganized Scientific Board will convene the annual meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 944 3720 7068
Find your local number:

DDI Alliance Annual Meeting of Members
June 22, 2021 (Tuesday) 13:00-15:00 UTC
The Meeting of Members is a forum for Member Organization discussion and feedback, as well as strategic and financial planning for the upcoming year.  The annual Meeting of Members is chaired by the Chair of the DDI Executive Board.
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 980 2585 9815
Find your local number:
Summary reports for each of the discussion items will be linked to the agendas before the respective meetings.  Past annual meeting materials are available on the DDI web site:  Looking forward to seeing many of you (virtually) in June!  

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

New Report: "The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications"

CODATA (the Committee on Data of the International Science Council) recently completed a European Open Science Cloud co-creation project which explored the potential uses and applications of the draft Data Documentation Initiative Cross-Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) specification for EOSC.  The main output was a substantial report The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications which explores the challenges faced by EOSC and discusses a number of use cases/examples of the role that DDI-CDI can play.

Main report: The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications

The report was produced in close consultation with members of the DDI Alliance that developed the specification.  A wide range of experts participated in workshops and intensive meetings, as detailed in the activity report produced for the EOSC Secretariat.

The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Report on Activities

Documentation on DDI-CDI is available below.  The DDI Alliance aim to publish the production release in June/July 2021.

Report Launch Workshop, 2 June

The report will be launched at a virtual workshop to be held at 13:00-15:00 UTC on Weds 2 June.  This workshop will summarise the key findings and recommendations of the report; discuss the examples/case studies and how they may be further explored and tested; and identify next steps for trial implementations.  The agenda and registration for the launch workshop will be announced in the near future.  In the meantime, please save the date!

The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications

This report looks at the potential use of the Data Documentation Initiative Cross-Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) specification to the data-sharing requirements faced by EOSC. By analyzing real-world projects and implementations, and through discussion with those responsible for related metadata and infrastructure specifications, the potential role played by the DDI-CDI model in the overall EOSC system is envisioned, and recommendations made for how to realize the identified opportunities for its use.

The challenges faced by EOSC can be broken into two main areas:

– Problems of Scale: The volume of data is growing exponentially and is coming from a wider range of sources. At the same time, the FAIR principles require an increased amount of metadata, especially when it comes to interoperability and reuse of that data. Current manual approaches are proving to be unsustainable. The automation of metadata collection – that is, harvesting metadata programmatically from systems which produce, manage, disseminate, and use data – offers a possible solution, but the necessary framework for such activities is not in place. Standard models and encoding for such metadata (a “lingua franca”) must be established for large-scale capture and exchange of metadata.

– Problems of Cross-Domain Use: In order for data to be shared across domain and institutional boundaries, it must be understood by its users at all levels. While increasing attention is paid to the semantic mapping of concepts across domains, there are other critical needs for such data sharing. Disparate data structures must be accommodated, based on the tools and formats used in specific domains, and the means of data collection and processing – the provenance of the data – must be understood. Use of specific domain models and vocabularies must be known, and they must be accessible in a machine-actionable form. Reusable crosswalks between domains are needed. All of these requirements point to the need for more granular metadata, so that data can be successfully re-arranged to be suitable for use outside its domain of origin. The path of a single observation, as it is reused and further processed, should be knowable.

DDI-CDI will not address all of these concerns; no single standard or technology will provide a complete answer. It has, however, been designed to fill important gaps in the needed range of standards, models, and technologies to meet these challenges. On the basis of an intensive series, of meetings, conference sessions, workshops and other discussions with a range of different groups, this report looks at use cases and the emerging FAIR ecosystem to understand the potential application of DDI-CDI, and the role it could play within a broader frame. The approach being taken by EOSC—as described in the EOSC Interoperability Framework and in other activities—is then assessed to show specifically where DDI-CDI would fit. Recommendations for further work are then made on that basis.

Specific implementation examples include a data integration using climate data, energy consumption data, and consumer questionnaire responses; an example of how a repository could facilitate automated capture of metadata, based on the Dataverse platform; a data integration example from the European Social Survey Multi-Level application; and an exploration of processing, provenance, and cross-domain requirements as seen in the ALPHA Network and INSPIRE applications for the integration of population and clinical data. An analysis of how DDI-CDI could be used in combination with DCAT is presented, and the role which DDI-CDI could play within the emerging FAIR ecosystem, in relation to FAIR Implementation Profiles, FAIR Data Points, and FAIR Digital Objects, is examined. Finally, the way in which DDI-CDI could be integrated into the emerging EOSC infrastructure is considered in light of the EOSC Interoperability Framework and the FAIRsFAIR vision of integrated metadata catalogues.

DDI-CDI offers a new type of specification which could help to realize the capture, interchange, and use of metadata throughout the EOSC data-sharing infrastructure, and could do so in ways which are scalable and machine-actionable. It operates at the needed level of granularity and would work to heighten the utility of semantic mapping and approaches to the full utilization of data. Our recommendations identify several concrete areas where this application of the model should be further explored.

DDI-CDI Documentation


Public review page:

Complete download package:

Announcement at DDI Alliance website:

Recognition of funding for the EOSC Co-Creation Project

This work was supported by the EOSC Secretariat. has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Programme call H2020-INFRAEOSC-2018-4, Grant Agreement number 831644.

Seeking DDI Alliance funding requests for the upcoming fiscal year (July 2021-June 2022)

Dear DDI community,

Each year, the DDI Executive Board considers funding requests to support Alliance activities.  Any member may submit a funding request for the Executive Board to consider.  If you have a funding request for the upcoming fiscal year (FY2022, July 2021 through June 2022), please email the request to by May 24th, 2021.  

Requests should explain the purpose of the request, how it aligns with the Alliance's strategic goals, 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 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 2021 fiscal year was finalized in June 2020 and is described in the Executive Board minutes:  The FY2020 financial report is part of the 2020 Annual Meeting materials (see page 48):

Feel free to contact me with questions.

Jared Lyle
Executive Director, DDI Alliance

First Webinar in DDI Training Series: "Introduction to Metadata for Research Data Management"

The DDI Alliance Training Group and CODATA are pleased to announce the first webinar in a new series introducing the metadata standard products of the DDI Alliance from different perspectives. "Introduction to Metadata for Research Data Management: A Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) Perspective" will be held Thursday, April 29, 2021, from 2-3.30am UTC.

This workshop introduces the definition and use of metadata in modern research data management. Metadata is a critical ingredient in applying the FAIR principles, but it is not necessarily easy to understand. The presentation will cover the definition of metadata and the ways in which it can be used in systems and will briefly introduce the DDI specifications which embody these perspectives and understandings.

The DDI Alliance has for many years provided popular standards and specifications for modeling metadata and using it in data management ad dissemination in the social, behavioural, economic, and health sciences, and in official statistics. Many of their approaches will apply in other domains as well. Metadata for RDM purposes can be a complex topic - this workshop will introduce a way of understanding and addressing that complexity effectively in systems aimed at FAIR data sharing.

Registration and further details:

Seeking DDI Executive Board nominations

Dear DDI community:

This is an election year for the DDI Executive Board. Four board seats are up for election (terms are four years). According to the Alliance Bylaws: "In election years, nominations for At-Large members will be solicited in April and a slate will be prepared by the Executive Director for discussion at the annual meeting with the election occurring in June. In the event that there are more candidates than positions, the election will be decided on the basis of those candidates getting the most votes."

The responsibilities of the Executive Board include: setting overall policy and budget for the Alliance, providing strategic guidance and review of the Alliance’s activities, and overseeing the management of the financial affairs of the Alliance on behalf of the Members.

I invite anyone interested in serving on or nominating another person to the Executive Board to email me directly with the nomination. The Alliance is committed to inclusive representation and encourages a wide and diverse pool of nominations.



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

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