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Executive Director's Note

We look forward to seeing many of our members in Kansas for our annual Meeting of Members and meeting of the Scientific Board. At our meeting this year, we will discuss our strategic plan, including a vision for long-term DDI infrastructure. We hope for an engaging discussion.

Jared Lyle, Director, DDI Alliance, lyle@umich.edu

In This Issue

Volume XV, Number 2, May 2017

DDI Alliance to Meet in Lawrence, KS, on May 22nd

The DDI Alliance will hold its annual meeting on Monday, May 22, 2017, in the Big 12 Room of the University of Kansas Memorial Union in Lawrence, Kansas (the day before the start of the IASSIST conference). 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 in previous years, in most cases it will be the same person attending both meetings, but do feel free to send different people. View the agenda for the meeting.


NADDI Conference Held in Ithaca, New York

N A D D I logo

NADDI2017, the 5th Annual North American DDI User Conference, took place December 5-7, 2016, in Ithaca, New York. The conference was hosted by the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) and The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.

The conference program included 15 presentations covering a range of DDI-centric topics such as using METS and DDI to improve preservation workflows for research data, as well as general metadata initiatives, such as the exciting new public history metadata project, Freedom on the Move. Freedom on the Move is a database of runaway slave newspaper ads populated by crowdsourcing, used to both transcribe the ad and fill specific metadata fields. The conference program also included 7 posters, and 2 workshops. The keynote address was given by Dr. Peter Enns, Executive Director of the Roper Center, entitled "Why We Need Survey Data and Data Archives to Understand Mass Incarceration". Stay tuned for the location of NADDI2018!

D D I logo

Credit: Tim Parsons Photography

New Members!

MIDUS logo

The DDI Alliance recently welcomed the University of Wisconsin Institute on Aging - MIDUS study (Barry Radler, representative) as a Full Member. They were previously an Associate Member of the Alliance.

Statistics Estonia logo

The Alliance also welcomed Statistics Estonia (Kaia Kulla, representative) as an Associate Member.


DDI will be well represented at both the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) annual conference in New Orleans, LA, May 18-21, and the European Survey Research Association (ESRA) conference in Lisbon, Portugal, July 18-21. At AAPOR an entire session will be devoted to "Collecting, Managing and Sharing Data - Using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) Standard across the Survey Research Lifecycle" on Sunday, May 21st. Session 4, 10:15am - 11:45am, Oak Alley, Fourth Floor. In addition, ICPSR and the DDI Alliance will be sharing a booth (29) in the exhibitor's hall. At ESRA, a full session on Thursday, July 20, will be dedicated to "Putting data in the driver's seat: The role of active (meta-)data in survey data management", 11:00am - 12:30pm, room N AUD4. DDI also will host an exhibition stand at ESRA.

D D I poster

New working group: DDI Workflows for Dataverse

A new working group, DDI Workflows for Dataverse, has been created to develop use cases for improved support of DDI in the Dataverse repository platform, and to coordinate development projects that utilize DDI generated by or with Dataverse in support of research data across the lifecycle. The chairs of the working group are Amber Leahey (Scholars Portal) and Danny Brooke (IQSS, Harvard University). If you have any interest in joining this working group, please contact one of the chairs. Contact information is listed on the working group page.

Dataverse logo D D I logo

DDI Training Group Creating How-To Videos, Your Help Needed!

The DDI Alliance Training Group is creating short how-to videos about frequently asked topics and they need your help! Topics such as, "What is DDI?", "How can you use DDI to document questionnaires?", and "How can you use DDI for repeated data management?" will be the subject of one video each. The goal is to make DDI more understandable to potential users, especially by showcasing practical applications.

  • If you are interested in joining the working group, please contact the chair, Amber Leahey (amber.leahey@utoronto.ca).
  • If you have suggestions about video topics, please add them to this online spreadsheet.
  • If you have existing presentations you think would be worth turning into a short video presentation, please let Amber or the Training Group know.
Camtasia  logo

NEW PUBLICATION From the Technical Committee

Implementation Guide: Best Practices for Usage of DDI 3.2 and Future Versions Increasing Interoperability and Ease of Adoption
Version 1.0, May 2017

This document is the Implementation Guide for the Best Practices for usage of DDI 3.2, and future DDI versions. It has been written to aid developers and users in the implementation of the following Best Practice areas:

  • Serialization
  • Identification
  • Content

The following group of technical best practices offers a set of requirements and recommendations that advance both interoperability and ease of adoption.

The applicability of these Best Practices extends to all areas of DDI adoption and software production for metadata systems, including:

  • Production of new metadata content profiles
  • Creation of new software for use with DDI
  • Updates or extensions to existing DDI software

This document is the first step by the Technical Committee to better address the needs of new adopters of DDI. Our goal is to address major questions raised during implementation of DDI to encourage consistent approaches that will aid in increasing interoperability as well as easing transition between versions of DDI. We will continue to extend this document as new areas are brought to our attention.

The document can be found on the DDI Alliance website here. Comments relating to the material contained in this document may be submitted to the DDI Technical Committee: ddi-srg@icpsr.umich.edu