Formal Papers & Articles
SAS Global Forum 2008 Paper 137, San Antonio Texas, March 2008.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The International Journal of Digital Curation 3, 1 (2008).
EDINA, Edinburgh University, DISC-UK DataShare Project. December 2007.
Paper presented at the First International Conference on e-Social Science, Manchester, UK, June 2005.
SAS Users Group International Conference 30 (SUGI30), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2005.
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
Working Paper No. 10, UN/ECE Work Session on Statistical Metadata, Geneva, Switzerland, September 22-24, 1999.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). Joint UNECE/Eurostat work session on statistical data confidentiality (Tarragona, Spain, 26-28 October 2011).