News

European DDI Users Conference (EDDI): 27-29 November

The 15th European DDI Users Conference will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia from 27-29 November 2023. The conference is being generously hosted by the Slovenian Social Science Data Archives (ADP).

Details of how to register are at: https://events.geant.org/event/1457/page/11-registration.

There will be 2 workshops/tutorials on the Monday followed by 35 presentations on the Tuesday/Wednesday from a wide range of organisations and individuals on all things DDI, and related issues.

The draft program is available at: https://events.geant.org/event/1457/timetable/#20231127.detailed

Details of getting to the venue and accommodation are available at: https://events.geant.org/event/1457/page/10-travel-accommodation

We look forward to welcoming you to Ljubljana.

Mari Kleemola & Jon Johnson

EDDI 2023 co-chairs

DDI Meet and Greet for World Preservation Day on November 2, 16:00 UTC

 
Do you have questions about the Data Documentation Initiative standard and how it can help you preserve your data and metadata ? Come and meet DDI Training group members and ask all the questions you have on Thursday November 2, 2023 between 16:00-17:00 UTC. 
 
You can ask your questions in English or French (we'll split in Zoom break-out zooms).
 
To attend this online event, please register here
 

Scheduled Website Maintenance: October 21-22

The DDI Alliance website will be offline (unavailable) for several minutes at one or more points between 11 p.m. Saturday, October 21 and 4 a.m. Sunday, October 22 Eastern Time Zone. The websites may be offline for longer during that time window if a problem unexpectedly occurs.

For more information about the scheduled maintenance, please see: https://status.its.umich.edu/report.php?id=157593.

DDI-CDI in Focus: 2023 Dagstuhl Workshops

This year, two workshops were held at Schloss Dagstuhl (Wadern, Germany) which involved DDI.

The first, “DDI-CDI: Realising Interoperable Data Services in the Metadata Ecosystem,” took place from 24 to 29 September, and included 25 participants from 21 organizations in 11 countries. The DDI-CDI Working Group was in attendance, supplemented by invited experts. The focus of the workshop was on implementing DDI-CDI, and supporting those who wish to learn more about the standard and implement it. The work was very productive, with the work organized into several different areas:

  • General overview of the specification and the problem space it is meant to address, including how it relates to other standards implemented in a modular way

  • Specific work around the creation of examples and implementation guides, including a “how-to” paper addressing a methodology for creating community specific implementation guides, a worked example mining the metadata embedded in an SPSS file into DDI-CDI’s XML expression, and the development of a prototype tool for use by developers to generate samples, taking a CSV file as input and easily allowing the generation of a DDI-CDI description in JSON-LD (and also other flavors of DDI)

  • A proposal on how non-numeric, non-coded data (e.g. qualitative data) could be described in an integrated fashion with quantitative data sets within the DDI-CDI model

  • Alignment of DDI-CDI with external models which describe the dependencies between variables in cross-domain integration scenarios, based om the RDA’s I-ADOPT standard and the OGC’s Observations’ Measurements standard

  • Syntax representation of the DDI-CDI model, including Python, Typescript, ShEx, SHACL, and JSON Schema.

In each of these areas, the outputs will be incorporated into the work of the DDI-CDI WG moving forward, and will result in the publication of guidance and documentation for users, tools for developers and implementers, and new features for the DDI-CDI model. Also addressed were issues around better supporting implementers through interactions with the DDI Developer’s Group and with a more responsive “beta” release process, and how this could fit into the work of the Alliance overall.

The second Dagstuhl seminar, “Defining a Core Metadata Framework for Cross-Domain Data Sharing and Reuse,” was held from 2-6 October, with 24 participants from 22 organizations in 12 countries. It was focused on the development of the Cross-Domain Interoperability Framework (CDIF), being developed through the WorldFAIR project, in which DDI-CDI is combined with many other domain neutral standards to support easier exchange of metadata and data across disciplinary and infrastructural boundaries. These external standards include Schema.org and DCAT (for discovery and cataloguing), PROV-O (for describing provenance), SKOS, XKOS, and OWL for describing controlled vocabularies and ontologies, and SSSOM for describing mappings. The focus of this work is on the practical implementation of the FAIR principles in cross-domain scenarios, and it promises to provide a strong basis for the adoption of DDI-CDI as part of this suite of standards. Like the first week, this workshop was very productive, and built on the outputs of the week focusing on DDI-CDI which had just taken place.

Thanks to all of the participants and organizers, and especially to the DDI Alliance and CODATA for providing support for this work. As always, Schloss Dagstuhl provides a unique setting for doing focused work, and for making it possible to be incredibly productive.

DDI Sponsorship of the 3rd IASSIST Africa Regional Workshop

The DDI Alliance was happy to sponsor the 3rd IASSIST Africa Regional Workshop, held October 18-20, 2023 at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research International Convention Centre (CSIR ICC) in Pretoria, South Africa. The workshop web site: http://iassistafrica.org/.

CODATA / DDI training webinar ‘The DDI Standards and Technology: Adapting to Change’, 17 October at 1400 UTC

Our upcoming CODATA / DDI training webinar ‘The DDI Standards and Technology: Adapting to Change‘ will take place on Tuesday 17 October at 1000 EDT / 1400 UTC / 1600 CEST.  The event will last approximately 90 minutes.  

Registration is now open – please register herehttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZElduitpj8sG92KybAQl5Ji6BOiCUYn0R2N

The technology landscape is always changing, and with the advent of AI technologies the pace has increased. This webinar looks at the technologies and practices around DDI metadata today, and how the new technologies could be used to increase efficiencies in the work of documenting data and in the use of the data itself. There will be time for questions and answers.

Current examples of production flows for metadata will be shown, covering the DDI Codebook and DDI Lifecycle standards, and the possibilities for leveraging ChatGPT and similar technologies demonstrated. The webinar is intended for data managers and disseminators concerned with documenting data and producing metadata at scale.

Our speakers are:

I. DDI and Technology Evolution (from DTDs for documentation to metadata-driven systems – brief overview) (Arofan Gregory, DDI/CODATA)

II. Production of DDI Codebook metadata for ODESI (Alex Cooper, Data Services Coordinator at Queen's University)

III. Production of DDI Lifecycle at the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) (Jennifer Zeiger, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research)

IV. ChatGPT and Metadata – possible uses and enhancements in efficiency (Pascal Heus, AI / Data Lead and FAIR Open Data APIs advocate, Postman Open Technologies)

 

The webinar is free to attend but registration is required.  Please register herehttps://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZElduitpj8sG92KybAQl5Ji6BOiCUYn0R2N 

We look forward to seeing you on 17 October!

Re-establishing the DDI Marketing Group and seeking new leadership

Dear DDI community,

 

At the May DDI Annual meeting, the Executive Board was charged with re-establishing the Marketing Working Group. We are writing to keep members informed about progress and to find new leadership for the working group.

 

The Alliance has undergone significant changes over the last 5 years, and it is evident that our Marketing challenge is moving from a situation where we support three mature products (DDI-Codebook, DDI Controlled Vocabularies and DDI-Lifecycle) to one where we now support two additional products (XKOS and STDL) and future products, such as DDI-CDI.

 

We strongly believe that it is time to take stock of this new landscape, better understand the current and future needs of our membership and of the wider community we support, and assist the Executive Board in helping to prioritise the Marketing effort as part of a wider review of our future strategic plan.

 

In order to achieve this, the Executive Board has drafted a new mission statement for the Marketing Working Group, which includes:

 

  • Market Identification and Audiences
  • Highlight DDI Strengths for Each Audience, and
  • DDI Promotion to Different Audiences.

 

We are now making a call for a person(s) with significant marketing experience from the DDI and/or data management community to lead this new work as part of a revitalised Marketing Working Group. The Executive Board is able to provide funding to support this role should it be required.

 

Please contact secretariat@ddialliance.org if you are interested or have questions. 


Jon Johnson
Chair, Executive Board

Registration is open for the European DDI Conference 2023

We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 15th European DDI Users Conference, to be held in Ljubljana from 27-29 November 2023. The conference is being generously hosted by the Slovenian Social Science Data Archives (ADP).

Details of how to register are at: https://events.geant.org/event/1457/page/11-registration.

There will be 2 workshops/tutorials on the Monday followed by 35 presentations on the Tuesday/Wednesday from a wide range of organisations and individuals on all things DDI, and related issues.

The draft program is available at: https://events.geant.org/event/1457/timetable/#20231127.detailed

Details of getting to the venue and accommodation are available at: https://events.geant.org/event/1457/page/10-travel-accommodation

We look forward to welcoming you to Ljubljana.

Mari Kleemola & Jon Johnson
EDDI 2023 co-chairs

Call for Papers: European DDI Conference (26-29 November 2023)

EDDI 2023  is organized jointly by the Slovenian Social Science Data Archive (ADP),  GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor. 

It will be hosted by ADP in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from Monday 27 to Wednesday 29  November 2023. Online participation will also be available for those unable to travel.

  • Tutorials and Workshops: Monday 27 November 2023
  • Conference: Tuesday 28 November - Wednesday 29 November 2023
  • Side Meetings: Thursday 30 November - Friday 1 December 2023 

Proposal Submission

We are seeking presentations, talks, papers 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

Submission Deadline: 4 September 2023

Details of how to submit a proposal are at: https://bit.ly/eddi2023

Diversity Scholarship

This year, EDDI is able offer a diversity scholarship as we aim to increase the diversity within the conference, especially among the speakers. The program is open to any underrepresented group within the EDDI community. Further details are at: https://events.geant.org/event/1457/page/9-diversity-scholarship

 

Jon Johnson & Mari Kleemola
EDDI 2023 co-chairs

DDI Executive Board and Scientific Board Election Results

We are happy to report the outcome of the July DDI election.  Libby Bishop and Johan Fihn Marberg were elected to the Executive Board.  Darren Bell, Dan Smith, and Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen were elected to the Scientific Board.  

Special thanks to all candidates for their willingness to contribute to the growth and development of the DDI Alliance.  Biographies and position statements are listed directly below.

 

Libby Bishop

Biosketch
Libby Bishop is the Coordinator for International Data Infrastructures in the Data Archive for the Social Sciences at GESIS Leibniz-Institute for Social Sciences in Germany.  GESIS is a service provider to the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA). She manages the relationship between GESIS and CESSDA, led a project that built a resource for repository staff, and coordinates additional projects between GESIS and other European research data infrastructures on topics such as digital behavioral data. She is also Team Leader of the GESIS Metadata Standards and Interoperability Team.  She recently completed a task on developing remote secure access for sensitive data within the European Open Science Cloud initiative via the Social Sciences and Humanities Open Cloud Project.  Prior to coming to GESIS in 2017, she worked at the UK Archive for almost 15 years, focusing on expanding reuse of qualitative data. Her research explores the methodological and ethical challenges posed when curating data for sharing and reuse.
 
Position Statement
After one year on the DDI Executive Board, I have learned much, contributed some, and have an even deeper appreciation for the DDI enterprise. One of my goals from last year was to engage with global digital research infrastructures and share my experiences from US, UK and European perspective. This has certainly happened. Even more striking has been the rapid ascent of cross-domain challenges, including substantive (from social to climate sciences), but also methodological (from social to computational social sciences (CSS)). With many CSS colleagues at GESIS, I can continue the urgent work of improving cross-domain communication. My second goal from a year ago concerned integrating new forms of data, especially digital behavioral data (DVD). Here I can now look forward to more “messy hands” work. GESIS will be developing metadata enhancements for handling DVD this year. These will be passed onto the relevant DDI groups and committees for consideration, with the aim of finding optimal ways for DDI to support research using such data.
 
Johan Fihn Marberg

Biosketch

Johan Fihn Marberg serves as the Head of IT of the Swedish National Data Service (SND), a position he has held since 2018. SND collaborates with almost 40 higher education institutions and public research institutes to provide researchers with a coordinated and quality-assured system for finding, describing, and sharing research data.  Fihn Marberg has a background as a systems developer and has worked with metadata and DDI for nearly 20 years. He has served as a member of the DDI Technical Committee for the last 10 years, and also serves as a member of FORS Scientific Advisory Board.
 
Position Statement
With my background as both a developer and working in management I will strive to be a bridge between the business part of the alliance and the developers who are using the DDI standard to create software. I aim for the standard to be easy to adopt while still fulfilling the needs of the community.
 
Darren Bell

Biosketch

Darren Bell has worked at UK Data Archive for eleven years, firstly as a data modeler/developer and latterly as Director of Technical Services since the beginning of 2020.  He is currently acting PI for the UK Data Service.  Prior to 2012, he worked in a variety of roles in both global infrastructure and development in both the public and commercial sectors.  His particular technical interests are in linked data, cloud platforms and semantic web and and and latterly the automation and better expression of traditionally administrative practices like access and rights management.  His experience with DDI extends back to 2.1 and 3.1 and more recently, championing the implementation of DDI-CDI at the Archive, as a key technology in enabling real-world data integration.

Position Statement

Having worked on the Scientific Board over the last year, latterly as vice-chair with Hilde Orten, I hope we have taken some valuable steps in defining more structured work-plans and objectives for the DDI Alliance.   Over the last year, as part of my work representing the UK Data Service’s interests, it has become ever clearer to me that DDI products globally represent best-in-class for domain-specific schema and I would like to contribute both to the further development and promotion of CDI while balancing this against the need for increased adoption and promotion of the core product suite of Codebook and Lifecycle.  I also am excited by the prospect of further integration of DDI with RDF practice, particularly in the use of Controlled Vocabularies.
 
Dan Smith

Biosketch

Dan has been a member of the DDI Technical Committee since 2006. Since 2014 he has helped to create the DDI Structured Data Transformation Language (SDTL). He helped design and create the DDI Agency Registry and resolution service. Since 2017 Dan has led the team that created the Convention-based Ontology Generation System (COGS) that is used to author DDI's SDTL standard and upcoming versions of DDI Lifecycle. He has worked on the releases of DDI codebook 2.5 and DDI Lifecycle 3.0 through 3.3. 

Position Statement

Dan wishes to share his 18 years of DDI implementation experience with the community as a representative on the DDI Scientific Board. His two main focuses on the Scientific Board will be how to best support and maintain the currently published DDI standards for users and aligning DDI development efforts with new user needs and technologies.
 

Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen

Biosketch

Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen is a researcher at GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany, and has been involved in DDI activities since his start at the Data Archive in 1996. He took part in some of the annual DDI training and workshop series at Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics in Wadern, Germany, where he worked on further development of the standard and published several working papers together with colleagues from the DDI Alliance. Both at GESIS and within CESSDA, he has been actively promoting the DDI standard, and included it into some software applications and standardization projects. These topics were also covered by presentations at IASSIST and EDDI conferences. For several years, he has also been a member of the programme committee of the European DDI User Conference (EDDI). https://www.gesis.org/en/institute/staff/person/wolfgang.zenk-moeltge

 
Position Statement
As a Social Science researcher with some technical and Computer Science knowledge I am concerned with providing practical solutions with a DDI standard that supports real world use cases. I like the promise of the DDI Alliance to cover the whole data life cycle of research data and to help organizations and individuals to collaborate on the basis of data and metadata. I am convinced that the combination of subject independent standards with standards that are designed to support subject specific research will help to create a vivid working environment for researchers using data and metadata as their basis of knowledge. I would like to continue this work as a member of the DDI Scientific Board.

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