Welcome New Member: Statistics Canada

The DDI Alliance welcomes Statistics Canada (Corey Chobanik, member representative; Flavio Rizzolo and Farrah Sanjani, Scientific Board representatives) as a Full Member! 

NADDI Conference Held in Ottawa, Canada

The 7th Annual North American DDI User Conference (NADDI19) was held in Ottawa, Canada April 24-26, 2019.  NADDI19 was hosted by Statistics Canada and included 19 presentations, 8 posters, 2 workshops, and discussion sessions.  The program is available on the conference website.  Nearly all presentations are available at

Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada, spoke during the opening keynote speech, "Enabling the modernization of official statistics with metadata standards." Mr. Arora noted, "A national statistical office must deliver timely insights that are grounded in quality, backed by good methodology. And in order to do that, we are intricately dependent on international standards, like the DDI." He later added, "Standards like DDI are going to be crucial if we are to keep pace with the knowledge cycle that constantly surfaces more and more data. This standard will enable timeliness but will also ensure high quality insights." The closing plenary was presented by Jeff Moon, Director, Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Portage Network.  

North American DDI conference -- registration open + agenda

North American DDI 2019 conference: Registration open

Registration is now open for the 7th Annual North American Data Documentation Initiative Conference (NADDI).  The conference theme is "Benefits of Describing Statistical Production and Variables," which emphasizes the benefits of using metadata to drive efficiencies in a research data lifecycle, as well as promotes subsequent re-use of end data products, especially those generated by federal and national statistical agencies.  The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing the data produced by surveys and other observational methods in the social, behavioral, economic, and health sciences.

Important Information

  • March 29: Early-bird registration deadline

  • Free Workshops: April 24, 2019

  • Conference Dates: April 25-26, 2019

  • Conference Location: Statistics Canada, Ottawa, ON

NADDI 2019 Agenda

Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada, will open NADDI 2019 on April 25th with a keynote presentation, "Enabling Modernization of Official Statistics with Metadata Standards."

Free pre-conference workshops will be held on April 24th, with the main conference held April 25-26. The full agenda is on the conference web site.

How to Register

Registration is found on the conference web site.  The deadline for early-bird registration is March 29, 2019.

Annual Meeting of Member Representatives: 1 June 2019 in Sydney, AU

The Annual Meeting of Member Representatives will be held on Saturday, 1 June 2019, in Sydney, AU (directly after IASSIST). Remote participation will be available for those who can't attend in person.

EDDI Conference Held in Berlin

The 10th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI18) was held in Berlin, Germany December 4-5, 2018.  EDDI18 was organized jointly by SOEP - The German Socio-Economic Panel, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor, and hosted by SOEP (The Socio-Economic Panel) at DIW (German Institute for Economic Research), Berlin, Germany.  The program is available on the conference website.

The conference was opened by the keynote speech on "Making Fair Data a Reality... and the Challenges of Interoperability and Reusability" by Simon Hodson (Executive Director of CODATA, the Committee on Data of the International Council for Science), and included 26 presentations, 2 tutorials, posters, discussion sessions, and a side meeting. Nearly all presentations and posters are available at

EDDI2019 will take place in Tampere, Finland December 3-4, 2019.  It will be organized jointly by the Finnish Social Science Data ArchiveTampere UniversityStatistics FinlandGESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.

2019 North American DDI conference Call for Proposals now open!

We are happy to announce the Call for Proposals for the 7th Annual North American Data Documentation Initiative Conference (NADDI).  The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing the data produced by surveys and other observational methods in the social, behavioral, economic, and health sciences.

NADDI 2019 Theme

The conference theme is "Benefits of Describing Statistical Production and Variables," which emphasizes the benefits of using metadata to drive efficiencies in a research data lifecycle, as well as promotes subsequent re-use of end data products, especially those generated by federal and national statistical agencies.  The keynote speaker will be Anil Arora, Chief Statistician of Canada.

Aimed at individuals working in and around data and metadata, NADDI 2019 seeks submissions of presentations and posters that highlight the use of DDI and other metadata standards within research projects, official statistics, survey operations, academic libraries, and data archives.

Proposals can include:

  • Presentations
  • Panels
  • Posters
  • Workshops or Tutorials


Important Information

  • January 7: Deadline for conference proposals
  • January 18: Notification of acceptance
  • March 29: Early rate registration deadline
  • Conference Dates: April 24-26, 2019
  • Conference Location: Statistics Canada in Ottawa, Canada


How to Submit

Submissions may be made through the conference web site.  The proposal deadline is January 7, 2019.

call for DDI Scientific Board Vice-Chair nominations

The DDI Alliance is seeking nominations for the position of Vice-Chair of the Scientific Board.  The Vice-Chair works directly with the Scientific Board Chair (Joachim Wackerow).  The Scientific Board is responsible for the scientific and technical work in developing the DDI specification.  
According to the DDI Alliance Bylaws (Section VII subsection B-6), "Members of the Scientific Board shall elect a Chair and Vice-Chair from among themselves for a term of three years. The Chair and Vice-Chair are eligible for reelection". Each member organisation is permitted one vote. 
If you would like to make a nomination for the Vice-Chair of the DDI Scientific Board, please contact
You can nominate any eligible Designated Representative of the Scientific Board, including yourself. Please submit your nominations by November 26th, 2018.  The Scientific Board will then hold an election for this position based on the nominations.

DDI Directions Newsletter Published

The latest issue of DDI Directions was published October 31st. Headlining this issue is the announcement of the DDI 4 Prototype release. Also highlighted are reports from community meetings and workshops, as well as information about NADDI and EDDI conferences.

DDI 4 Prototype Release

In December 2017, we provided an update about development of DDI work products to express continued support for our stable work products -- including DDI-Codebook (DDI 2) and DDI-Lifecycle (DDI 3) -- and to communicate a mid-2018 prototype release of a new work product called DDI 4.

We’re happy to announce the prototype release of DDI 4.  This preliminary version is not intended for production but provides an opportunity to test and provide feedback on how the DDI 4 model describes and documents some basic research material, such as a dataset, an instrument, and a codebook.

DDI 4 is based on an information model that can be expressed in different technologies, including standard RDF vocabularies and XML structures. This form of model-based standard is a best practice in the standardization world, and several other domains have used this approach for years to structure their domain-specific standards. The development of DDI 4 will enable the standard to stay abreast of current technological changes and guarantee alignment across different technology implementations. More details about the history and origin of DDI 4 can be found on the “Work Products of the DDI Alliance” web page

We look forward to the DDI community testing this prototype release and providing constructive feedback on its future development. Links to the specification and use cases, as well as instructions for comment, are found at:

DDI 4 Comment and Review Page

We would love to have as much feedback as possible for our next development meeting on November 26th, but the comment period will extend beyond that. We hope to hear from you!  Please feel free to contact with questions.

Workshop Report: Train-the-Trainer Workshop

Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics, 24 – 28 September 2018, Wadern, Germany

A workshop to increase training capacity on DDI was hosted at the internationally renowned computer science institute at Schloss Dagstuhl in Germany and organized by Joachim Wackerow (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences).  The workshop instructors were Jon Johnson, Dan Smith, and Wendy Thomas, with Arofan Gregory as a volunteer.  The DDI Alliance paid the GESIS workshop fees for all participants.

The workshop drew 18 participants from 16 organizations representing 11 countries, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Malawi, Norway, Romania, Sweden, UK, and the United States. 

The participants worked through existing training material to build modular training materials. Participants were very motivated and worked often in working groups on specific topics. The resulting slide decks cover core areas of DDI and are, as far as possible, version-agnostic. 

All workshop participants promise to conduct a DDI training within the next year.

Wiki site of the workshop:

The output documents are available at:

A subset of the workshop participants have volunteered to continue developing the training materials. The goals are to share the reusable materials with the new trainers and promote these materials on the DDI Alliance website for further reuse and self-guided training.