New Report: "The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications"

CODATA (the Committee on Data of the International Science Council) recently completed a European Open Science Cloud co-creation project which explored the potential uses and applications of the draft Data Documentation Initiative Cross-Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) specification for EOSC.  The main output was a substantial report The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications which explores the challenges faced by EOSC and discusses a number of use cases/examples of the role that DDI-CDI can play.

Main report: The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications

The report was produced in close consultation with members of the DDI Alliance that developed the specification.  A wide range of experts participated in workshops and intensive meetings, as detailed in the activity report produced for the EOSC Secretariat.

The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Report on Activities

Documentation on DDI-CDI is available below.  The DDI Alliance aim to publish the production release in June/July 2021.

Report Launch Workshop, 2 June

The report will be launched at a virtual workshop to be held at 13:00-15:00 UTC on Weds 2 June.  This workshop will summarise the key findings and recommendations of the report; discuss the examples/case studies and how they may be further explored and tested; and identify next steps for trial implementations.  The agenda and registration for the launch workshop will be announced in the near future.  In the meantime, please save the date!

The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications

This report looks at the potential use of the Data Documentation Initiative Cross-Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) specification to the data-sharing requirements faced by EOSC. By analyzing real-world projects and implementations, and through discussion with those responsible for related metadata and infrastructure specifications, the potential role played by the DDI-CDI model in the overall EOSC system is envisioned, and recommendations made for how to realize the identified opportunities for its use.

The challenges faced by EOSC can be broken into two main areas:

– Problems of Scale: The volume of data is growing exponentially and is coming from a wider range of sources. At the same time, the FAIR principles require an increased amount of metadata, especially when it comes to interoperability and reuse of that data. Current manual approaches are proving to be unsustainable. The automation of metadata collection – that is, harvesting metadata programmatically from systems which produce, manage, disseminate, and use data – offers a possible solution, but the necessary framework for such activities is not in place. Standard models and encoding for such metadata (a “lingua franca”) must be established for large-scale capture and exchange of metadata.

– Problems of Cross-Domain Use: In order for data to be shared across domain and institutional boundaries, it must be understood by its users at all levels. While increasing attention is paid to the semantic mapping of concepts across domains, there are other critical needs for such data sharing. Disparate data structures must be accommodated, based on the tools and formats used in specific domains, and the means of data collection and processing – the provenance of the data – must be understood. Use of specific domain models and vocabularies must be known, and they must be accessible in a machine-actionable form. Reusable crosswalks between domains are needed. All of these requirements point to the need for more granular metadata, so that data can be successfully re-arranged to be suitable for use outside its domain of origin. The path of a single observation, as it is reused and further processed, should be knowable.

DDI-CDI will not address all of these concerns; no single standard or technology will provide a complete answer. It has, however, been designed to fill important gaps in the needed range of standards, models, and technologies to meet these challenges. On the basis of an intensive series, of meetings, conference sessions, workshops and other discussions with a range of different groups, this report looks at use cases and the emerging FAIR ecosystem to understand the potential application of DDI-CDI, and the role it could play within a broader frame. The approach being taken by EOSC—as described in the EOSC Interoperability Framework and in other activities—is then assessed to show specifically where DDI-CDI would fit. Recommendations for further work are then made on that basis.

Specific implementation examples include a data integration using climate data, energy consumption data, and consumer questionnaire responses; an example of how a repository could facilitate automated capture of metadata, based on the Dataverse platform; a data integration example from the European Social Survey Multi-Level application; and an exploration of processing, provenance, and cross-domain requirements as seen in the ALPHA Network and INSPIRE applications for the integration of population and clinical data. An analysis of how DDI-CDI could be used in combination with DCAT is presented, and the role which DDI-CDI could play within the emerging FAIR ecosystem, in relation to FAIR Implementation Profiles, FAIR Data Points, and FAIR Digital Objects, is examined. Finally, the way in which DDI-CDI could be integrated into the emerging EOSC infrastructure is considered in light of the EOSC Interoperability Framework and the FAIRsFAIR vision of integrated metadata catalogues.

DDI-CDI offers a new type of specification which could help to realize the capture, interchange, and use of metadata throughout the EOSC data-sharing infrastructure, and could do so in ways which are scalable and machine-actionable. It operates at the needed level of granularity and would work to heighten the utility of semantic mapping and approaches to the full utilization of data. Our recommendations identify several concrete areas where this application of the model should be further explored.

DDI-CDI Documentation


Public review page:

Complete download package:

Announcement at DDI Alliance website:

Recognition of funding for the EOSC Co-Creation Project

This work was supported by the EOSC Secretariat. has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Programme call H2020-INFRAEOSC-2018-4, Grant Agreement number 831644.

Seeking DDI Alliance funding requests for the upcoming fiscal year (July 2021-June 2022)

Dear DDI community,

Each year, the DDI Executive Board considers funding requests to support Alliance activities.  Any member may submit a funding request for the Executive Board to consider.  If you have a funding request for the upcoming fiscal year (FY2022, July 2021 through June 2022), please email the request to by May 24th, 2021.  

Requests should explain the purpose of the request, how it aligns with the Alliance's strategic goals, and include an itemized budget for the funding request.  If requests are related to scientific or technical activities, the DDI Scientific Board will evaluate the request from the perspective of the Alliance Scientific Plan and provide feedback to the Executive Board.  Incoming budget requests related to scientific or technical activities will be prioritized according to their level of importance, and a reasoning with pros and cons for each evaluation will be made available, for the purpose of clarity and transparency.  Full details about annual budget funding requests are here:  

The Alliance's membership dues are used to fund these requests.  The budget for the current 2021 fiscal year was finalized in June 2020 and is described in the Executive Board minutes:  The FY2020 financial report is part of the 2020 Annual Meeting materials (see page 48):

Feel free to contact me with questions.

Jared Lyle
Executive Director, DDI Alliance

First Webinar in DDI Training Series: "Introduction to Metadata for Research Data Management"

The DDI Alliance Training Group and CODATA are pleased to announce the first webinar in a new series introducing the metadata standard products of the DDI Alliance from different perspectives. "Introduction to Metadata for Research Data Management: A Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) Perspective" will be held Thursday, April 29, 2021, from 2-3.30am UTC.

This workshop introduces the definition and use of metadata in modern research data management. Metadata is a critical ingredient in applying the FAIR principles, but it is not necessarily easy to understand. The presentation will cover the definition of metadata and the ways in which it can be used in systems and will briefly introduce the DDI specifications which embody these perspectives and understandings.

The DDI Alliance has for many years provided popular standards and specifications for modeling metadata and using it in data management ad dissemination in the social, behavioural, economic, and health sciences, and in official statistics. Many of their approaches will apply in other domains as well. Metadata for RDM purposes can be a complex topic - this workshop will introduce a way of understanding and addressing that complexity effectively in systems aimed at FAIR data sharing.

Registration and further details:

Seeking DDI Executive Board nominations

Dear DDI community:

This is an election year for the DDI Executive Board. Four board seats are up for election (terms are four years). According to the Alliance Bylaws: "In election years, nominations for At-Large members will be solicited in April and a slate will be prepared by the Executive Director for discussion at the annual meeting with the election occurring in June. In the event that there are more candidates than positions, the election will be decided on the basis of those candidates getting the most votes."

The responsibilities of the Executive Board include: setting overall policy and budget for the Alliance, providing strategic guidance and review of the Alliance’s activities, and overseeing the management of the financial affairs of the Alliance on behalf of the Members.

I invite anyone interested in serving on or nominating another person to the Executive Board to email me directly with the nomination. The Alliance is committed to inclusive representation and encourages a wide and diverse pool of nominations.



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

New DDI Slack Collaborative Workspace

The DDI Alliance has a new collaborative workspace on Slack ( that is free to members who would like to join. We encourage you to opt-in for participant-directed conversations about DDI Alliance products, training, conferences, resources, and related topics. The DDI Alliance Slack is free and open to the public, but participants must complete the application form ( and be accepted before access is granted.

View our Community Guidelines and How-to instructions to help you set up and use your account.  

DDI Webinar for the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative Community

The DDI Alliance has been invited to present a Webinar introducing the DDI metadata standard and products to the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative community.  The Webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, at 14:00 UTC. 

This Webinar will be hosted by ASIS&T. Registration for DCMI webinars is currently free, but you will need to use the discount code 'dcmi25' when you register. 

More details, including how to register:

New DDI Alliance Privacy Policy

The DDI Alliance recognizes and values the privacy of its community members and guests.  Accordingly, the Executive Board has approved a new Privacy Policy to provide specific information on how the Alliance collects and processes personal information. 

A link to the new policy is found on the DDI Alliance web site footer, as well as under the About menu.  More details:

DDI Product Suite Logos

Over the past few years, the DDI Alliance has developed and adopted a broad product line, including Codebook, Lifecycle, Controlled Vocabularies, XKOS, and most recently the Structured Data Transformation Language. The term “DDI” no longer refers to a single metadata standard or schema, but has evolved to refer to a suite of different data management tools. This evolution is being reflected in the ongoing reorganization of the DDI Alliance website ( to highlight and describe the different products offered by the DDI Alliance.

The DDI Marketing and Partnerships Group, in collaboration with the DDI Training Group, has developed a series of new product logos to differentiate the components of the DDI product suite ( We hope the community will embrace the new logos and use the information on this page to promote the DDI product suite.

2021 DDI Annual Meetings

Dear DDI community,
Each year, the DDI Alliance hosts annual meetings to discuss Alliance business, learn about activities, and provide feedback on priorities for the coming year.  This year, we will host two separate virtual meetings in June, which are described below.  We invite anyone who is interested in DDI activities to attend these virtual meetings.   
DDI Alliance Annual Meeting of the Scientific Community
June 15, 2021 (Tuesday) 13:00-15:00 UTC

Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 944 3720 7068
Find your local number:

The Meeting of the Scientific Community will discuss DDI technical and scientific developments, including a Scientific Work Plan for the coming year.  The recently reorganized Scientific Board will convene the annual meeting.
DDI Alliance Annual Meeting of Members
June 22, 2021 (Tuesday) 13:00-15:00 UTC
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 980 2585 9815
Find your local number:
The Meeting of Members is a forum for Member Organization discussion and feedback, as well as planning for the upcoming fiscal year.  The annual Meeting of Members is chaired by the Chair of the DDI Executive Board.
Agendas with summary reports will be distributed the month before the respective meetings.  Past annual meeting materials are available on the DDI web site:  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.  Looking forward to seeing many of you (virtually) in June!  

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

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DDI Alliance Panelists at the Government of Canada Data Conference 2021

Members of the DDI Alliance will be participating in the "Standards in Action: Emergence of Data Standards to Drive Business Outcomes" session of the Government of Canada Data Conference 2021 (19 Feb at 14:00 EST).  Cory Chobanik, from Statistics Canada, is organizing and moderating the session. Dan Gillman, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is a panelist. The panel will explore the value and how to boost the adoption of common data standards across government.  

For program and registration details, visit the conference web page.