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Executive Director's Note

We are excited to welcome two new members (Cathy Fitch and Barry Radler) and two re-elected members (Steve McEachern and Dana Müller) to the Executive Board. Special thanks to outgoing Board members Leanne Trimble and Louise Corti!

Jared Lyle
Director, DDI Alliance

In This Issue

Volume XV, Number 3, September 2017

Annual Meetings Held in Lawrence, Kansas

The DDI Alliance Annual Meeting of Member Representatives and the Meeting of the Scientific Board were held on May 22 in Lawrence, Kansas, in advance of the IASSIST 2017 conference). The Annual Meeting of Member Representatives included a State of the Alliance presentation by Steve McEachern (Chair of the Executive Board), as well as reports from the Marketing and Training groups and the Technical Committee. A DDI Long-term Infrastructure working paper was also discussed. The Meeting of the Scientific Board discussed the Moving Forward (DDI 4) project, as well as a report from the Technical Committee. Both meetings were well attended and productive.

DDI Alliance Annual Meetings 2017

New Members!

The DDI Alliance recently welcomed the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur (Ingo Barkow, representative) as a Full Member!

University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur

The Alliance also welcomed the TBA21 Group (represented by TBA21 Germany, with David Schiller, representative) as an Associate Member of the Alliance.

TBA21 Group

DDI Alliance Executive Board Election Results

The DDI Alliance recently held elections to fill four seats on the Executive Board, which is responsible for managing the operations of the Alliance, including setting the overall policy and budget, and providing strategic guidance and review of the Alliance's activities. Elected members of the Executive Board serve for a term of four years, with terms starting on July 1st.

The member representatives unanimously elected include:

  • Dr. Catherine Fitch is Associate Director of the Minnesota Population Center (MPC) and founding Co-Director of the Minnesota Research Data Center (MnRDC), a United States Census Bureau Research Data Center (RDC). Throughout her career, she has been closely involved in the creation of several MPC databases, including IPUMS (USA and International) and Terra Populus.
  • Catherine Fitch
  • Dr. Steven McEachern is Director of the Australian Data Archive. He has high-level expertise in survey methodology and data archiving, and has been actively involved in development and application of survey research methodology and technologies over fifteen years in the Australian university sector. Steve currently serves as Chair of the DDI Executive Board and was first elected to the Board in 2013.
  • Steven McEachern
  • Dana Müller is Head of the Research Data Centre (FDZ) of the Federal Employment Agency at the Institute for Employment Research. Dana worked as a researcher at the Technical University in Chemnitz before joining the staff of the Data Research Centre of the Federal Employment Agency at IAB. Dana was first elected to the DDI Executive Board in January 2017.
  • Dana Müller
  • Dr. Barry Radler is a Distinguished Researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute on Aging and a researcher on the Midlife in the United State (MIDUS) study. With 20 years of experience in the behavioral sciences, he has worked with universities, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. Barry is Chair of the DDI Marketing and Partnerships Group.
  • Barry Radler

Additionally, a special thank you goes to outgoing Board members, Leanne Trimble (University of Toronto) and Louise Corti (UK Data Archive).

9th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI17)

The 9th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI17) will be held December 5-6, 2017 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The conference will be opened by the keynote speech on "DDI Is Not Enough" by Ron Dekker (director of CESSDA ERIC - Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives), and will include 2 keynotes, 24 presentations, 3 tutorials, posters, and side meetings.

The draft program is available at http://www.eddi-conferences.eu/ocs/index.php/eddi/eddi17/schedConf/program. The deadline for the early booking conference fee is October 17.

EDDI17 is organized jointly by FORS - Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and IDSC of IZA - International Data Service Center of the Institute for the Study of Labor.


Save the Date - North American DDI Conference: April 5-6, 2018

We are pleased to announce that the 2018 North American Data Documentation Initiative Conference (NADDI) will be held at the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. on April 5-6, 2018.

The Call for Papers will be published shortly and further details will be added to the Conference web site over the coming months.


The theme for NADDI 2018, 'Benefits of Describing National Statistics with Common Standards', emphasizes the benefits of using metadata to drive efficiencies in a research data lifecycle, as well as promotes subsequent re-use of end data products, especially those generated by federal and national statistical agencies.

Aimed at individuals working in and around data and metadata, NADDI 2018 seeks submissions of presentations and posters that highlight the use of DDI and other metadata standards within research projects, official statistics, survey operations, academic libraries, and data archives.

NADDI 2018

Sprint Report: Lawrence Sprint

The latest DDI development sprint was held May 29-June 2 in Lawrence, Kansas, following the IASSIST Conference. Eight participants focused on two primary tracks: evaluating the codebook view and reviewing and revising patterns. Additional work was done on rules for realization of patterns, a technical and environmental assessment for publishing the DDI, identifying a 'ready' state, recommendations for documentation, and other technical updates. The full report is available on the sprint's wiki page, along with all supporting documentation.

Lawrence, Kansas Sprint
Lawrence, Kansas Sprint

COGS: Convention-based Ontology Generation System

Colectica has released the Convention-based Ontology Generation System (COGS). COGS lets you specify your information model in plain text. From this model, COGS generates rich documentation and multiple representations. Plain text specifications allow using industry-standard tools like git to manage collaboration. COGS is for domain experts and groups who value ease of collaboration and low technical barriers for participation.

Publishable formats include:

  • XML Schema
  • OWL 2 (RDF Schema)
  • OMG's UML Normative XMI 2.4.2
  • OMG's UML XMI 2.5 with Diagrams and Diagram Exchange
  • Sphinx HTML documentation and visualizations
  • JSON Schema
  • C# class library
  • SVG and dot visualizations
  • GraphQL schema language

More details: