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Welcome to the new email version of DDI Directions! This format is easier to navigate and to produce and also has a rendering in PDF (see the link at the top of the email). Let us know what you think about this type of presentation.

This issue pulls together summaries of recent DDI events as well as information about future plans, workshops, and meetings. As always, the DDI community is active and engaged in moving the standard forward.

Mary Vardigan, Director, DDI Alliance

In This Issue

Volume VI, Number 3, August 2013

DDI Alliance Elects First Executive Board

The Alliance is pleased to announce the newly elected members of the Executive Board, the oversight body that is replacing the former Steering Committee.

Executive Board members include:

  • Mari Kleemola, Finnish Social Science Data Service
  • Steve McEachern, Australian Data Archive
  • Ron Nakao, Stanford University
  • Gillian Nicoll, Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Anita Rocha, University of Washington, Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology
  • Leanne Trimble, University of Toronto Scholars Portal
  • George Alter, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (representing ICPSR as the Host Institution)

George Alter

Mari Kleemola

Steve McEachern

Ron Nakao

Gillian Nicoll

Anita Rocha

Leanne Trimble

The Executive Board is charged with setting Alliance policy and budget and providing strategic advice and guidance.

Alliance Welcomes New Members

The National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) in France has recently joined the DDI Alliance. Benôit Rouppert will serve as the Member Representative and Guillaume Duffes as the Representative to the Scientific Board.

We also welcome the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations into membership. The DDI Member Representative will be Josef Schmidhuber with Fabio Grita as the Scientific Board Representative.

We look forward to working with these new colleagues on DDI activities.

First "Sprint" for DDI Model to Take Place

A workshop at Schloss Dagstuhl in October—DDI Lifecycle Moving Forward (Part 2)—will progress the work begun last October at Dagstuhl and carried on through the year. This workshop, structured as a "sprint" to encourage intensive work with previously defined goals, will provide a venue for domain experts to interact with technical experts in developing the DDI information model. A series of subsequent sprints is envisioned as a way to spur development. Consult this summary for more information on future plans related to the DDI modeling work.

A recent paper on strategic priorities of the Alliance (PDF) also highlights this work on the model-based DDI.

DDI Alliance Meets in Cologne

The Annual Meeting of DDI Alliance Members took place in Cologne, Germany, on May 27 just before the yearly IASSIST meeting. The group discussed the transition to a new governance structure, building a new model-based DDI specification, and much more. Minutes of the meeting (PDF) are now available. DDI Developers also met the same day.

DDI developers relax after the Cologne meeting in May. From left, Sam Spencer, Arofan Gregory, Johanna Vompras, Oliver Hopt, Marcel Hebing, Olof Olsson.

DDI RDF Vocabularies Now Available

The Alliance is developing two new RDF vocabularies. Work on these vocabularies was initiated through Semantic Statistics workshops held at Schloss Dagstuhl in 2011 and 2012 and organized by GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences.

The Discovery Vocabulary, or Disco, is designed to support the discovery of microdata sets and related metadata using RDF technologies in the Web of Linked Data.

The XKOS Vocabulary, an extended form of the Simple Knowledge Organization System or SKOS, is intended for managing statistical classifications and supporting concept management systems.

An open review of the vocabularies will take place in coming months with the goal of publishing them by the end of the calendar year.

Related to this RDF work and building on the DDI Semantic Statistics seminars, a first international workshop on Semantic Statistics will be held on October 21-22 in Sydney with Raphaël Troncy (EURECOM), Franck Cotton (INSEE), Richard Cyganiak (DERI), Armin Haller (CSIRO), and Alistair Hamilton (ABS) contributing. This is part of the 12th International Semantic Web Conference.

In addition, two related papers are now available:

Thomas Bosch, Richard Cyganiak, Arofan Gregory, and Joachim Wackerow, 2013. DDI-RDF Discovery Vocabulary: A Metadata Vocabulary for Documenting Research and Survey Data. In proceedings of the 6th Linked Data on the Web (LDOW) Workshop at the World Wide Web Conference (WWW), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 2013.

Dan Gillman, Franck Cotton, and Yves Jaques. "eXtended Knowledge Organization System (XKOS)." METIS Work Session on Statistical Metadata, Geneva, Switzerland, May 2013.

DDI Training Offered at Dagstuhl

GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences is sponsoring a training workshop on "Facilitating Process and Metadata-Driven Automation in the Social, Economic, and Behavioural Sciences with the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)," to be held October 21-25, 2013, at Schloss Dagstuhl - Leibniz Center for Informatics, Wadern, Germany. Instructors are Arofan Gregory (ODaF - Open Data Foundation); Wendy L. Thomas (Minnesota Population Center); and Joachim Wackerow (GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences).

This training workshop will provide an introduction to using the DDI standard to enable many of the processes common to the social, behavioral, and economic sciences, from the conceptualization of surveys through data collection, processing, analysis, and dissemination. The focus of the workshop will be on the "Lifecycle" branch of DDI, version 3.2, which provides a detailed model of the metadata needed to support both human-driven and automated processing. The workshop will be organized in a task-oriented manner, with participants actively documenting real-world use cases in order to learn how best to employ the DDI model and associated technology. The use cases produced will be published as the final output of the workshop, as a resource to the broader DDI community. Participants are encouraged to bring their own organizational use cases.

Consult the workshop page for more information.

Schloss Dagstuhl, Leibniz Institute for Informatics, in Wadern, Germany

NADDI 2014 to Take Place in Vancouver

North American D D I User Conference The second annual North American DDI User Conference will be held at the Harbour Centre in Vancouver, Canada, on April 1-2, 2014, with workshops taking place the day before on March 31. Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, and University of Alberta are co-hosting the event.

The program is currently under development by the Program Committee: Bill Block, Larry Hoyle, Walter Piovesan (local arrangements liaison), and Mary Vardigan. If you would like to participate, please email Larry Hoyle. The Web site for NADDI 2014 will be available soon.

EDDI Releases Call for Papers

European D D I User Conference The 5th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI13) will be hosted by the Réseau Quetelet, French Data Archives for Social Sciences, in Paris, France, on December 3-4, 2013. Other organizers include GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.

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 the first time, the submission of full papers to the conference is encouraged. Papers will be published as EDDI13 conference proceedings in the DDI Working Paper Series. The topics of the conference include, but are not limited to:

  • Infrastructure for Data Collection, Research, and Archiving
  • Reusing and Sharing Metadata
  • DwB - Data without Boundaries
  • DASISH - Data Service Infrastructure for the Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Official Statistics
  • Software / Tools

The deadline for submissions is September 22, 2013. For more information about the conference, see the conference Web site.

Paper on Qualitative Data Published

A new paper on qualitative data (PDF) has been added to the DDI Working Paper Series. This new paper, "A Qualitative Data Model for DDI," presents a model developed by several experts in qualitative data to cover important use cases.

Colectica Announces Support for REDCap Survey Import and Export Using DDI Lifecycle Metadata

Colectica has announced that its Colectica Designer metadata software now supports interoperability with the REDCap system for online surveys. The Colectica Designer software allows for two-way interoperability between the REDCap data dictionary format and the DDI 3 Lifecycle standard on which Colectica is based.

"We are happy to add REDCap import and export to Colectica Designer's survey specification and creation feature," said Dan Smith, a partner at Colectica. "Generating a REDCap data dictionary from a standards-based repository allows for greater accuracy and transparency of the resulting data."

The REDCap data dictionary import and export is now available in the current Colectica 4.2 beta. Current customers and evaluators are free to download it from the Colectica Web site to try out the additional REDCap interoperability feature.

Nesstar Publisher Now Generates Codebooks

The new Nesstar Publisher version 4.0.9 (http://www.nesstar.com/software/download.html) comes with beta support for PDF generation. When a study is open in Publisher, a Generate PDF-entry is available from the Documentation menu.