What's New

Metadata Workshop to be Held at Schloss Dagstuhl in October

A metadata workshop will be held at Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics in Wadern, Germany, on October 19-23, 2015, in connection with a working meeting of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI). The workshop will bring together representatives from several metadata standards to provide an external review of current DDI work, with an emphasis on the model-driven approach, the production framework, and the substantive content of the standard. Progress made so far will be examined in light of the high-level goals and design principles for the model-driven DDI specification, sometimes called DDI4 or the Moving Forward project. This meeting is part of a Dagstuhl workshop series on DDI Moving Forward that began in 2012.

It is anticipated that the other standards will in turn provide information about their development procedures and goals so that we can learn from each other, communicate more effectively across disciplines, and potentially interoperate. Concurrent with the metadata workshop, a "sprint" will take place to advance the development of the new DDI model.

EDDI 2015 Registration Opens

Registration is now open for EDDI15, the 7th Annual European DDI User Conference, and the draft program is available.

EDDI15 will take place on December 2-3, 2015 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The conference is hosted by Statistics Denmark (DST) and DDA/National Archive of Denmark. The conference 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. The program offers 30 presentations and posters, 3 tutorials, and 3 side meetings.

The keynote speeches on the first day will be delivered by Lars Thygesen (Thygesen Statistics Consulting) and Carsten Zangenberg (Statistics Denmark). On the second day the keynote speech will be held by Christian Ertmann-Christiansen (The Royal Danish Library).

The conference will open on Wednesday, Dec 2nd at 9:00 am and close on Thursday, Dec 3rd at 4:15 pm. Tutorials will take place on Tuesday, Dec 1st at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Two side meetings will take place on Friday, Dec 4th (the DDI Developers Meeting and the International Colectica User Conference).

The detailed draft program including abstracts is available at: http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/ocs/index.php/eddi/eddi15/schedConf/program

The registration for participants and accommodation booking are open. Please have a look at:



Please note following important details:

- The early bird fee will be available up to Oct 23, 2015.

- The reduced rates of the hotels are available on a first come, first served basis.

EDDI15 is organized jointly by DST - Statistics Denmark and the DDA - Danish Data Archive/National Archive of Denmark, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.




DDI Training Opportunity Offered

For the past eight years, GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences has organized intensive five-day DDI training workshops at Schloss Dagstuhl in Wadern, Germany. (Dagstuhl is a computer science research center that focuses mainly on a highly acknowledged seminar series.) This year’s training workshop will take place on October 12-16, 2015.

Joachim Wackerow (GESIS) leads the training workshop along with co-trainers Arofan Gregory (Metadata Technology) and Wendy Thomas (Minnesota Population Center). To plan for the workshop, Arofan and Wendy spend the week before the workshop in Mannheim (one of the two GESIS locations) where the three trainers prepare the syllabus and the schedule for the upcoming workshop. This has worked well and has been a successful model.

In an effort to diversify and supplement the pool of qualified DDI trainers and to start to build the next generation of instructors, this year GESIS together with the Dagstuhl trainers is offering a "train the trainer" opportunity, funded by the DDI Alliance. This will enable a new trainer to attend the preparation week in Mannheim and the workshop at Dagstuhl. The goal is that this person could then conduct similar training in the future either alone or with others.

The Alliance will fund the cost of the new trainer's travel, accommodation, and food for two weeks, and will provide a stipend of Euro 1000.

We are looking for a highly motivated individual who has an interest in DDI and in training others in its use. This person will need to be available for the full two weeks (Week 1 in Mannheim, October 5-9, and Week 2 at Dagstuhl). 

To apply for this opportunity, please send a letter of interest, a resume or set of qualifications, and a vision for future DDI training to the DDI Alliance Director by June 21, 2015. The trainers -  in consultation with the DDI Alliance Director -  will select a person for the position and he or she will be informed by July 7. 

DDI Lifecycle Training to be Held at Dagstuhl in October

Facilitating Process and Metadata-Driven Automation in the Social, Economic, and Behavioural Sciences with the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)

October 12-16, 2015

Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics, Wadern, Germany

Course Instructors:

Arofan Gregory (ODaF - Open Data Foundation, Tucson, Arizona, USA)

Wendy L. Thomas (MPC - Minnesota Population Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Joachim Wackerow (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Mannheim, Germany)

Description of the workshop

This training workshop will provide an introduction to using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard to enable many of the processes common to the social, behavioural, and economic sciences, from the conceptualization of surveys through data collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination. The focus of the workshop will be on the “Lifecycle” branch of DDI, version 3.2, which provides a detailed model of the metadata needed to support both human-driven and automated processing. The workshop will be organized in a task-oriented manner, with participants actively documenting real-world use cases in order to learn how best to employ the DDI model and associated technology. The use cases produced can be published as the final output of the workshop, as a resource to the broader DDI community. Participants are encouraged to bring their own organizational use cases.

The workshop is aimed at data producers, managers, and users who are not already experts in the DDI, or who wish to become more familiar with the latest version of the standard (version 3.2). There will also be information provided about DDI RDF Vocabularies and the envisioned shift in future versions of DDI Lifecycle to a model-based approach – the style of modeling and some of the standard implementation syntaxes (RDF and XML) will be covered. The workshop will include hands-on exercises and work within break-out groups on specific use cases, but will be accessible to participants with all levels of technical expertise.

Please have a look at the workshop page for further details, practical information, and registration:

Call for Papers for EDDI2015 Announced

Call for Papers for the 7th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI15)

"DDI - The Basis of Managing the Data Life Cycle"

Submission Deadline: September 6, 2015

Place: Copenhagen, Denmark

Date: December 2 - 3, 2015

Hosts: Statistics Denmark and Danish Data Archive/National Archive of Denmark

Conference web page: http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/eddi15

EDDI15 is organized jointly by the DST– Statistics Denmark and the DDA – Danish Data Archive/National Archive of Denmark, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.

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

We strongly encourage papers in different areas to ensure that a broad balance of topics is covered which will attract the greatest breadth of participants, and we encourage conference participants to propose presentations, papers, and posters that would be of interest to themselves and other attendees.

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:

Regular presentations
Short presentations
Full papers
Plenary presentations
Complete sessions
Tutorials and workshops
Posters and software demonstrations

If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please use the online submission system of the conference. The deadline for submissions is September 6, 2015. Please have a look at the Call for Paper page for further details. Please consider to indicate the availability as reviewer as well.

General Information

For more information about the conference, see the conference web site at http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/eddi15.

For questions or any other correspondence regarding the Call for Papers of EDDI15, please send an email to eddi15-prog@googlegroups.com.

Last year’s presentations and posters are available at the EDDI14 website.

For more information about the EDDI conference series and details on the previous EDDI conferences, look at http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/.

DDI4 Development Draft Available for Comment

The DDI Alliance is pleased to announce a preliminary Quarter 1 Development Draft of the first components of DDI Lifecycle-MD, the new DDI specification that is model-driven (MD), sometimes called DDI4. The comment period for the Q1 Draft is now open. Information on the review process is available from the DDI4 - Comment and Review page. That page contains a link to comment instructions and to the release package itself -- see the box labeled Current Review in the middle of the page. 

DDI is transitioning to a model-driven specification to support new content and domains, to provide needed flexibility in rendering and packaging, and to ensure a sustainable development process for DDI going forward. The model will enable use-case driven "functional views" of the full model so that prospective DDI users can receive only the subset of DDI classes they need for a specific task or function (e.g., create a simple codebook). The transition also includes moving to a fully automated production framework to create the specification, bindings, and documentation. More information about the DDI work products and how they all fit together is available.

This release represents the first of several quarterly releases, each of which will build on previous releases. The Q1 Draft includes the class descriptions and diagrams for several of the basic parts of the model. We are currently working out minor issues with results of the XML and RDF/OWL implementations. These will be released separately when available.

We are eager to obtain feedback from the DDI community in order to improve what we have and to validate our approach. The comment period is open until May 22, 2015, and we hope to hear from you.

NADDI Conference to Take Place in Madison, Wisconsin, April 8-10, 2015

Research data management has become an important global issue as funding agencies, publishers, and disciplines increasingly require the sharing of publicly funded data.  The Open Data movement treats curated data as a valuable resource available to support new research with the potential for new discoveries. Furthermore, the expectation that research findings can be replicated is pressuring researchers to make their data understandable and useable by others. Both the replication and reuse of research data is highly dependent on properly documented data. The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) provides two structured metadata specifications for describing the content and context of data about individuals or organizations (microdata) in the health, social, and behavioral sciences. This community-maintained standard for microdata is internationally recognized as a best practice in preparing, sharing, and preserving data.

Interested in learning more? Please join us in Madison for the third North American DDI (NADDI) Users Conference, to be held April 8-10, 2015. Organized by the Institute on Aging at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the meeting will take place at the Pyle Center on the UW campus in beautiful downtown Madison, with the theme "Enhancing Discoverability with Open Metadata Standards."

The Keynote Speaker for the conference is Dr. Tito Castillo. Dr. Castillo is an independent consultant who has worked in the field of biomedical computing for over 25 years. More recently, he established the epiLab secure computing environment at University College London Institute of Child Health and began to apply DDI to a variety of epidemiological studies. In August 2014 he founded Xperimint Ltd, a specialist data management company for biomedical data management.

The conference will feature training sessions on Wednesday, April 8, with opening reception the evening of April 9. Wednesday’s training will cover an introduction to DDI in the morning and the afternoon will focus on the practical packaging of statistical datasets and metadata. Conference sessions focus on a wide range of innovative topics and projects.

We hope to see you there!

DDI4 Sprint to Take Place in Minneapolis in May 2015

The Minnesota Population Center (MPC) at the University of Minnesota will be the setting for the next DDI4 sprint, the seventh in a series of sprints focused on development of a model-driven DDI specification (DDI4). The sprint will take place Monday-Friday, May 25-29, at the MPC with a set of invited participants in attendance.

More information on the sprint is available on the DDI Moving Forward wiki at:


Information on previous sprints is available here:


SDMX Releases Validation and Transformation Language (VTL) for Review

A dedicated task-force of the SDMX Technical Working Group (TWG) submits the new specification of a Validation and Transformation Language (VTL) for public review. The review period extends until 8th November 2014 in order to allow time for consolidation of a final version at the end of 2014. Feedback is welcome.

At the end of 2012, the SDMX Secretariat requested the TWG to start a new work package on “Expressions and Calculations” aimed at allowing the definition and the exchange of validation and transformation rules, based on the generic framework for defining mathematical expressions already existing in the SDMX information model. To make such framework fully operational, a standard language for defining validation and transformation rules (set of operators, their syntax and semantics) should be adopted, while appropriate IT formats for exchanging such rules – and web services to store and retrieve them – should be designed.

The intention is to provide a language which is usable by statisticians to express logical validation rules and transformations on data, whether described as a dimensional table or as unit-record data. Although a work-product of SDMX, the VTL language is based on the GSIM data model and should be usable with other standards as well. The present draft for public review also provides (in its part 1) a formal description of data validation at business level against which information models can be mapped.

VTL – part 1: Validation and Transformation Language (General Description)

VTL – part 2: Validation and Transformation Language (Library of Operators)

Please send your comments to the SDMX Technical Working Group (SDMX-TWG) at twg@sdmx.org. Each email message should contain only a limited set of numbered – and possibly homogeneous – comments and should contain the elements indicated in the attached comment log.


Review of RDF Vocabularies Under Way

Announcement of the public technical review on draft versions of the RDF vocabularies

DDI-RDF Discovery (Disco), Physical Data Description (PHDD), and Extended Knowledge Organization System (XKOS)

DDI-RDF Discovery (Disco)

Disco is designed to support the discovery of microdata sets and related metadata using RDF technologies in the Web of Linked Data.

Physical Data Description (PHDD)

PHDD describes existing data in rectangular format and CSV format (character-separated values).

Extended Knowledge Organization System (XKOS)

XKOS leverages the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) for managing statistical classifications and concept management systems, since SKOS is widely used.

These vocabularies can be used in the context of Linked Data and statistical classifications. We are interested in comments and any type of critique regarding the vocabularies and their possible interplay with other vocabularies. We would like to achieve robust versions of the vocabularies on the basis of this technical review and then publish them as specifications of the DDI Alliance.

Review until: July 6, 2014

Response email address: ddi-rdf-vocabulary@googlegroups.com

Organization: DDI Alliance (Data Documentation Initiative), http://www.ddialliance.org/

For more information see the RDF vocabularies review page.