Welcome New Member: Qualiservice

The DDI Alliance welcomes Qualiservice (Noemi Betancort Cabrera, member and Scientific Board representative) as an Associate Member!  Qualiservice archives and provides qualitative social science research data from various disciplines for subsequent scientific use.  Prof. Dr. Betina Hollstein, Director of the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy (Univ. Bremen), is the head of Qualiservice.

Cancellation of DDI in-person annual meeting, and virtual meeting planning

Dear DDI Member and Scientific Board Representatives,

In consultation with the DDI Executive Board, we have made a decision to cancel the in-person annual meeting scheduled for May 18, 2020 in Gothenburg, Sweden (the Monday of IASSIST). This decision was based on the most recent information about the COVID-19 pandemic and in an abundance of caution.

In place of the in-person meeting, we will hold a virtual meeting instead. We are currently liaising as to the timing and content of the meeting given the international spread of our membership. More information about the virtual meeting will be shared in the coming month.

We recognise that this is an unprecedented and unique situation and appreciate your flexibility.  Our thoughts are with everyone affected in the DDI community.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Alliance.

Steve McEachern
Chair, on behalf of the DDI Executive Board

2020 North American DDI conference cancelled, to be replaced by virtual presentations

Given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 North American Data Documentation Initiative Conference (NADDI) scheduled for June 17-19, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota has been cancelled.  Instead, virtual presentations will be hosted in June 2020.  The virtual presentations will showcase how metadata standards, including and especially DDI, are making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).  More information will be distributed in the coming months.

Special thanks to the 2020 hosts, IPUMS at the University of Minnesota Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation, for their support and hard work.

Sent on behalf of the NADDI 2020 Organizing Committee

Welcome New Member: Center for Socio-Political Data (CDSP), Sciences Po

The DDI Alliance welcomes Center for Socio-Political Data (CDSP), Sciences Po (Nicolas Sauger, member and Scientific Board representative) as a Full Member!

DDI Alliance Annual Meeting: 18 May 2020 in Gothenburg, Sweden

The DDI Alliance annual meeting will be held on May 18, 2020 in Gothenburg, Sweden (the Monday of IASSIST). This is an opportunity for members to learn about Alliance activities and provide feedback on priorities for the coming year.

The morning will be devoted to the Meeting of Members and the afternoon to the meeting of the Scientific Board, with lunch provided in between. More details about the meeting, including a full agenda, will be available in April.  Remote participation will be available for those who cannot attend in person.

We hope to see many of you at the meeting!  Please register now so we can count you in.

Waived IASSIST workshop fee for DDI Alliance members

Dear Alliance members,

Hilde Orten and Benjamin Beuster will give a DDI workshop at IASSIST 2020 in Gothenburg and we are happy to let you know that participants from DDI Alliance member organizations can participate in this workshop for free. To do so, please use the following discount code when registering for IASSIST and the workshop: DDIA

If you are a DDI Alliance Member and use this code, the workshop fee (500SEK, around $52 USD) will automatically be waived.

Please send this information to your colleagues who may be interested in this workshop.

Best wishes,
Anja Perry and Jane Fry
(DDI Training Group Co-Heads)

Members selected for temporary working group to propose a restructuring of the Scientific Board

Dear DDI community,

I am pleased to announce the members of the temporary working group to propose a restructuring of the Scientific Board.  Members include:

  • Jane Fry (Carleton University and DDI Training Working Group co-chair)
  • Dan Gillman (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Jon Johnson (CLOSER and DDI Technical Committee vice-chair)
  • Ron Nakao (Stanford)
  • Hilde Orton (NSD)
  • Nicolas Sauger (Sciences Po)
  • Wendy Thomas (Minnesota Population Center and DDI Technical Committee chair)
The goal is to restructure the Scientific Board so it is active and engaged throughout the year -- beyond the annual meeting -- and optimally functioning as the scientific and technical body of the Alliance.  Ingo Barkow, current vice chair of the Scientific Board, will chair the working group; Achim Wackerow, chair of the Scientific Board, and I will also participate.
Participants will engage in several conference calls and one in-person meeting.  Work will be completed in advance of the May 2020 annual meeting, when the finalized proposal will be discussed and voted on.  Thanks to all participants for their service.

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

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North American DDI conference Call for Proposals now open!

We are happy to announce the Call for Proposals for the 8th 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 2020 Theme

The conference theme is “Making Data FAIR by using Metadata Standards.”

The main conference sponsor is IPUMS at the University of Minnesota Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation.  

Aimed at individuals working in and around research data and metadata, NADDI 2020 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

·  March 6: Deadline for conference proposals

·  March 31: Notification of acceptance

·  May 31: Early rate registration deadline

·  Conference Dates: June 17-19, 2020

·  Conference Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

How to Submit

Submissions may be made through the conference web site.  The proposal deadline is March 6, 2020.

Sent on behalf of the NADDI 2020 Organizing Committee

DDI Lifecycle 3.3 specification available for final public review and comment

In the summer of 2018, DDI Lifecycle version 3.3 was made available for public review. Several important issues were identified as a result of that review. Those issues were thoroughly reviewed and addressed, and are now ready for final review at:

This page includes a link to the package containing the schemas and field level documentation. In addition, there are links to related content: Model documentation, High Level documentation, Implementation Guide, Examples, and a complete 3.2 to 3.3 change log with notes on requirements for transforming from version 3.2 to 3.3.

A brief review period for this revised DDI Lifecycle version 3.3 will take place Friday, January 25 through Friday, February 21, after which the Alliance will vote on the new specification.

Version 3.3 contains additional new coverage for the following:

  • Classification management (based on GSIM/Neuchatel)
  • Non-survey data collection (Measurements)
  • Sampling
  • Weighting
  • Questionnaire Design
  • Support for DDI as a Property Graph (properties on items and references)
  • Quality Statement improvements (useful for Eurostat reporting)

DDI Lifecycle version 3.3 also includes improvements in the types and organization of documentation for the specification. These changes allow for the publication of updates and additions as they occur rather than requiring the reissue of the specification itself. We welcome comments on the coverage and format of this documentation.


EDDI Conference Held in Tampere, Finland

EDDI 2019 was held at Tampere University and was jointly hosted by Statistics Finland and the Finnish Social Science Data Archive, who were celebrating their 20th anniversary.

With 89 participants, it was the largest EDDI since 2014, and also the largest ever turn out from the host country. Over half of the participants were from Scandinavia!  

Tutorials included: an introduction to DDI (utilizing material from the DDI Train-the-Trainers initiative), using paradata with DDI, going beyond a DDI codebook, and how a syntax representation of the DDI 4 UML model can be generated in any language.

There were two keynotes. Marja Rantala from Statistics Finland gave an interesting and insightful talk on challenges in interoperability drawing on her extensive experience in aligning Nordic geography. The second keynote was from Damien Lecarpentier speaking about the challenges of building the European Open Science Cloud, which is bringing together a coherent infrastructure which it is hoped will foster cross disciplinary data sharing.

One theme of the program was how DDI is now embedded in many key infrastructures in Europe -- beyond data archives. Examples included the adoption of DDI controlled vocabularies in CESSDA and how they are key in solving the challenges of multilingualism,  as well as the maturing of DDI-Lifecycle to support questionnaire development and longitudinal data management. Other presentations highlighted adoption of DDI in National Statistical offices as GSIM progresses from modelling into implementation.

The poster session is always a highlight of EDDI, and this year was no exception. Software and tools both in development and in maturity were demonstrated focusing on questionnaires and grappling with legacy data. Poster presentations showcased international developments, including three from Japanese participants!  More information on presentations and posters are available from

The next EDDI conference will be in Paris, hosted by SciencePo, on the 1st & 2nd of December 2020.

Trotz einiger Herausforderungen wird erwartet, dass ihre Rolle in der Zukunft weiter wachsen mehr hier wird, wobei die Technologie das Gesundheitssystem weiterhin transformiert und verbessert.

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