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Formal Papers & Articles

Exporting SAS Datasets to DDI 3 XML files Data, metadata, and more metadata

By Hoyle, Larry, and Wackerow, Joachim. 2008
SAS Global Forum 2008 Paper 137, San Antonio Texas, March 2008.

The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI): An Introduction for National Statistical Institutes

By Gregory, Arofan. 2011
This paper introduces DDI to those coming from national statistics institutes (NSIs). While there is a large amount of information regarding DDI available today, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start, and much of it comes from domains which are not familiar to those working with official statistics. Here, we attempt to characterize the flavors and uses of DDI, give some general background on the standards organization (the DDI Alliance), describe available tools, and relate the DDI to other initiatives and standards which are more familiar to this audience.

Enhancing Discoverability of Public Health and Epidemiology Research Data: Summary

By Castillo, Tito, Arofan Gregory, Samuel Moore, Brian Hole, Christiana McMahon, Dr Spiros Denaxas, Veerle Van Den Eyden, Hervé L’Hours, Lucy Bell, Jack Kneeshaw, Matthew Woollard, Chifundo Kanjala, Gareth Knight, and Basia Zaba . 2014
The project “Enhancing Discoverability of Public Health and Epidemiology Research Data” was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust on behalf of the Public Health Research Data Forum. The work focused on assessing the discovery and use of major data sets in the public health and epidemiology research domain. Further, it aimed to identify relevant models which could be used to enhance data discoverability and re-use, and to explore the feasibility of these models.

Enhancing Discoverability of Public Health and Epidemiology Research Data

By Castillo, Tito, Arofan Gregory, Samuel Moore, Brian Hole, Christiana McMahon, Dr Spiros Denaxas, Veerle Van Den Eyden, Hervé L’Hours, Lucy Bell, Jack Kneeshaw, Matthew Woollard, Chifundo Kanjala, Gareth Knight, and Basia Zaba . 2014

Social Science Metadata and the Foundations of the DDI

By Rasmussen, Karsten Boye . 2014
This paper is part of an IASSIST Quarterly volume to honor the legacy of Sue A. Dodd. Sue identified the vacuum of library catalogue description for the new and growing area of machine-readable data (Dodd, 1979), and provided guidance for using a standard bibliographic format to fill this vacuum (Dodd, 1982). In following years she continued to communicate, discuss and elaborate upon the guidance. Some of the other papers in this collection in the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ) bring more focus to the writings of Sue Dodd and some papers elaborate on the work carried out within the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI). This paper sees the influence of Sue Dodd as her work was adapted and incorporated, highlighting some of the European work on the study description for social science data during the period 1975 to 1995.

Building the DDI

By Green, Ann, and Chuck Humphrey. 2014
This paper is part of an IASSIST Quarterly volume honoring Sue A. Dodd. The paper describes the context, motivation, and requirements behind the design and development of the first version of the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) metadata community specification, with an emphasis upon the process of creating the initial element set for the “study level” of DDI version 1. We also offer a framework for understanding the infrastructural changes that contributed to the establishment of the DDI. By taking a close look at the confluence of influences on the earliest efforts to design and build the DDI, we can better understand what essential elements of metadata are necessary to support independent use of social science data over time.

The DDI Matures: 1997 to the Present

By Vardigan, Mary. 2014
The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) began in 1995 with a small international group coming together with a focus on social science metadata. The group moved quickly to develop a first specification, around which a community of practice emerged. That community, along with the DDI specification itself, has evolved over the last two decades to reflect developments in the social sciences, technological advances, and innovation in research practice. This paper, part of an IASSIST Quarterly volume honoring the legacy of Sue A. Dodd, chronicles the history of the DDI from its instantiation in XML in 1997 to its current status as the de facto standard for documenting data in the social and behavioral sciences.

DDI Timeline

By Vardigan, Mary. 2014
This paper is part of an IASSIST Quarterly volume honoring the legacy of Sue A. Dodd. The timeline lists key developments and events in the history of the DDI, beginning with selected foundational developments that set the stage for DDI and facilitated its creation.

Creating Rich, Structured Metadata: Lessons Learned in the Metadata Portal Project

By Vardigan, Mary, Darrell Donakowski, Pascal Heus, Sanda Ionescu, Julia Rotondo . 2014
With support from the National Science Foundation, two long-running social science studies – the American National Election Study and the General Social Survey – partnered with the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and NORC at the University of Chicago to improve their metadata and build demonstration tools to illustrate the value of structured, machine-actionable metadata. The partnership also involved evaluating the studies’ data collection workflows to determine where in the data life cycle metadata could be captured at source to avoid metadata loss and costly procedures to recreate the metadata later. This article reports on the experience and knowledge gained over the course of the project and also includes recommendations for others undertaking similar work.

Data Management Planning and the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)

By Gregory, Arofan. 2013
This paper presents the challenges faced by DDI in incorporating a new set of information – the description of data management plans – into the existing set of DDI information, suggesting some current points of overlap, and setting the stage for a future discussion regarding how data management planning might fit into the overall model of the data production lifecycle, and how it can address the wide variety of models used internationally to describe data management plans.

Metadata Standards to Support Controlled Access to Microdata

By Thomas, Wendy, Arofan Gregory, and Alistair Hamilton.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Joint UNECE/Eurostat work session on statistical data confidentiality (Tarragona, Spain, 26-28 October 2011).


By Gregory, Arofan and Pascal Heus.
German Council for Social and Economic Data Working Paper no. 57/2009, March 2009.

Data Documentation Initiative: Toward a Standard for the Social Sciences

By Vardigan, Mary, Pascal Heus, Wendy Thomas.
The International Journal of Digital Curation 3, 1 (2008).

The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and Institutional Repositories

By Martinez, Luis.
EDINA, Edinburgh University, DISC-UK DataShare Project. December 2007.

DDI and SDMX: Complementary, Not Competing, Standards

By Gregory, Arofan and Pascal Heus.
Open Data Foundation Paper, July 2007.

How Initiative Benefits the Research Community - the Data Documentation Initiative

By Miller, Kenneth, and Mary Vardigan.
Paper presented at the First International Conference on e-Social Science, Manchester, UK, June 2005.

Using XML Mapper and XMLMAP to Read Data Documented by Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) Files

By Hoyle, Larry.
SAS Users Group International Conference 30 (SUGI30), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2005.

Bazaar Style Metadata in the Age of the Web - An 'Open Source' Approach To Metadata Development

By Ryssevik, Jostein.
Working Paper No. 4, UN/ECE Work Session on Statistical Metadata, Washington, DC, November 28-30, 2000.

Providing Global Access to Distributed Data Through Metadata Standardisation: The Parallel Stories of NESSTAR and the DDI

By Norwegian Social Science Data Services.
Working Paper No. 10, UN/ECE Work Session on Statistical Metadata, Geneva, Switzerland, September 22-24, 1999.