What's New

DDI articles in the latest issue of the IASSIST Quarterly

Two articles in the latest issue of the IASSIST Quarterly (Vol 42 No 2 (2018)) discuss DDI. "Flexible DDI Storage," the winner of the IASSIST 2017 conference paper competition, describes "a way to model the binding of DDI to applications in a way that it works independent of most version changes and interpretative differences in a standard like DDI without continuous reimplementation." The other article, "Elaborating a Crosswalk Between Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and Encoded Archival Description (EAD) for an Emerging Data Archive Service Provider," describes a DDI-to-EAD crosswalk at the State Archives of Belgium.

More details: https://www.iassistquarterly.com/index.php/iassist/issue/view/3

New DDI 3.3 specification available for public review and comment

The DDI Alliance (http://www.ddialliance.org/) is pleased to announce the Public Review of DDI 3.3. This version of the DDI specification includes important updates and new content, including:

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

Additionally, DDI 3.3 has a formal model now, so a detailed changelog can be generated between DDI 3.2 and 3.3.

Links to the specification and instructions for comment are found at: https://ddi-alliance.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DDI4/pages/500826115/DDI+Lifecycle+3.3+Public+Review

We are eager to obtain feedback from the DDI and RDF communities on this vocabulary. The comment period is open for six weeks until August 3, 2018, and we hope to hear from you!

DDI Train the Trainer workshop to be hosted by GESIS in September

GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences will host a DDI Train the Trainer workshop in September. Interested in gaining a deeper knowledge of DDI through creating training materials? Apply by July 22! Participants promise to teach a DDI workshop within the next year. More details: https://training.gesis.org/?site=pDetails&child=full&pID=0x26080C184C484597AE6AE43CD648B277

DDI Alliance on Twitter

The DDI Alliance is now on Twitter!  Follow us: https://twitter.com/DDIalliance

Welcome New Member: Aristotle Cloud Services

The DDI Alliance welcomes Aristotle Cloud Services as an Associate Member of the Alliance. Sam Spencer is the respresentative.

Call for Papers for the 10th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI18)


10th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI18), DDI - The Basis of Managing the Data Life Cycle

  • Submission DeadlineSeptember 2, 2018
  • Place: Berlin, Germany
  • Date: December 4/5, 2018
  • Host:  The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin Germany
  • Conference web page: http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/eddi18

EDDI18 is 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.

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.

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.

For more information, see the conference web site at http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/eddi18.

DDI Alliance Annual Meeting - Agenda

The DDI annual meeting will be held Monday, May 28, 2018, in room LB-362 of the Webster Library, 1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal, Canada. The meeting agenda is available at:


Coffee will start at 8:30 am and the meeting will start at 9 am. 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.

For those who cannot attend the annual meeting in person, we are providing a virtual connection.  To join the meeting virtually:


To join via phone :

1)  Dial:

+1.888.240.2560 (US Toll Free)

(see all numbers - http://bluejeans.com/numbers)

2)  Enter Conference ID : 933112161

NADDI Conference Held in Washington, D.C.

NADDI 2018, the 6th Annual North American DDI User Conference, took place April 4-6, 2018, in Washington, D.C. The conference was hosted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and was attended by nearly 90 participants.

The conference program included 25 presentations, 5 posters, and 2 workshops, and opened with a plenary panel on the importance of open standards in federal statistics and research.  Plenary panelists included: John Abowd, Associate Director for Research and Methodology & Chief Scientist, U.S. Census Bureau, and Edmund Ezra Day Professor of Economics, Cornell University; Robert M. Groves, Executive Vice President and Provost, Georgetown University, and Director, U.S. Census Bureau (2009-2012); and John H. Thompson, Executive Director, Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS), Director, U.S. Census Bureau (2013-2017), and CEO, NORC at the University of Chicago (2008-2013). Margaret Levenstein, Director of the Inter-university Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, moderated the panel.

In their remarks, the plenary panelists emphasized the increased demand for metadata standards and trained metadata specialists. "We are moving into a world of data that is much more complicated than the old world. Your knowledge is needed....This is an era of unprecedented opportunity for implementation of standards," noted Dr. Groves.

Save the Date: DDI Alliance Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada (28 May)

The DDI Alliance will hold its annual meeting on Monday, May 28, 2018, in room LB-362 of the Webster Library, 1400 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal, Canada (the day before the start of the IASSIST conference). This is an opportunity for Alliance 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. As noted in previous years, in most cases it will be the same person attending both meetings, but do feel free to send different people.

More details about the meeting, including a full agenda, will be available soon. We hope to see many of you at the meeting.

Update on DDI 4 project management and consultants

Dear DDI community

In December, I wrote to update you on DDI work product development, including plans to release a prototype of the DDI 4 specification in mid-2018. (The full message is posted on the Alliance web site: http://www.ddialliance.org/announcement/update-on-ddi-work-product-development.)

I'm writing now to update you about two new hires we've made to help with the DDI 4 prototype release. Both are one-year, term-limited positions, and were approved by the DDI Executive Board.

1) DDI 4 project manager (Kelly Chatain) --  This position collaborates with the several DDI 4 working groups, including the modeling team and the Technical Committee, to insure a coordinated and timely prototype release.  Kelly is an active DDI community member and is knowledgeable about the technical side of DDI development work.  She has moderated several Dagstuhl "Moving Forward" workshops, is chair of the Web Site working group, and is involved in the Marketing and Partnerships working group. Kelly is posting DDI 4 project management activities and updates here: https://ddi-alliance.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DDI4/pages/491651/Project+Management.

2) RDF consultant (Eric Prud'hommeaux) -- DDI 4 has the goal of being expressed in multiple bindings, including but not limited to XML Schema and RDFS/OWL. The Alliance requested assistance to provide the basic work on the creation of the RDFS/OWL binding of the UML model. Eric Prud'hommeaux, an engineer at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), has been selected as the expert consultant to develop concepts, select appropriate techniques, and give general advice regarding questions in the area of Semantic Web technologies.  RDFS/OWL activities are being documented here: https://ddi-alliance.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/DDI4/pages/246874113/RDFS+OWL+Team.

Additionally, in November, the Executive Board recommended that the previous DDI 4 Advisory Group be updated so it moves primarily into a project management role.  This included updating the group membership to:

  • Project manager (Kelly Chatain)
  • Executive Board chair (Steve McEachern)
  • Scientific Board chair (Joachim Wackerow)
  • Technical Board chair (Wendy Thomas)
  • Executive Director (Jared Lyle)

After the mid-2018 prototype release, the Advisory Group composition and functions will be reevaluated. I want to personally thank past Advisory Group members Larry Hoyle, Dan Gillman, and Jon Johnson for actively contributing to the Advisory Group these past two or more years. And since all continue to lead or significantly contribute to DDI 4 development, they are still actively involved in the community.

Feel free to contact me with questions or comments.

Jared Lyle
Director, DDI Alliance
ICPSR, University of Michigan