News, Events, Annoucements

ODaF welcomes Stefan Kramer as Executive Manager

July 9th, 2012

We’re pleased to announced that Mr. Stefan Kramer has recently agreed to join the Open Data Foundation Executive Management team. His extensive experience in data/metadata management and familiarity with the archive and research communities are welcomed addition to our group.

Since April 2012, Stefan heads the new Research Infrastructure department at the DIW Berlin, which merges the library and IT departments with a new focus on enhancing research data management and collaboration. From 2007 through 2011, he worked as a social science data (management) librarian at Yale University Library and then the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research at Cornell University. From 1999 through 2006, he was Director of Library Services at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California, serving primarily mid-career graduate students in a distance education setting. Prior to choosing librarianship as a profession, he worked as a data analyst for a small, non-profit survey research firm. He has a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the California State University in Fullerton. His research interests are in enhancing the discoverability and open access of government and research data, and he recently joined the management team of the Open Data Foundation. He has also been an active participant in the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) Alliance from 2007 through 2011.

The Open Data Foundation is always looking for individuals willing to contribute in various ways to its activities and vision. Do not hesitate to contact us at info@odaf.org or visit http://odaf.org/?lvl1=about&lvl2=contributing should you be interested in pro-actively support the organization, promote your project or publication under the ODaF umbrella, organize an event, of have any question/suggestion.

All the best,
The ODaF Management Team

SDMX Info Space

March 18th, 2012

Eurostat has recently launched a new SDMX Info Space. This wiki based portal providing access to reference guides, training materials, videos, open source software, and other essential information on the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange standard (ISO 17369).
For more information, visit: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/mwikis/sdmx/index.php/Main_Page

ODaF Welcomes Sam Spencer as Executive Manager

February 14th, 2012

We’re pleased to announced that Mr. Samuel Spencer has recently agreed to join the Open Data Foundation executive management team.

Sam is currently working for the Australian Bureau of Statistics where he is a member of the Data management team, with a focus on DDI and related metadata issues. He’s has been a proponent of DDI and SDMX, and has a popular blog dealing with DDI and related topics. He has presented at IASSIST and EDDI, and has been working on an open-source tool called Virgil, which is a simple classification management tool based on DDI.

We expect to put Sam’s technical skills and passion for technology to good use. Besides helping with the day-to-day management of the organization, his focus will be on maintaining and strengthening the ODaF IT infrastructure, in particular in terms of expanding ODaF’s presence across social networks, which has been recognized as a priority following the success of our LinkedIn group. He will also continue to contribute to DDI in general through its support of open source projects and participation in various events. Sam can be reached at sspencer@odaf.org.

The Open Data Foundation is always looking for individuals willing to contribute in various ways to its activities and vision. Do not hesitate to contact us at info@odaf.org should you be interested in pro-actively support the organization, promote your project or publication under the ODaF umbrella, organize an event, of have any question/suggestion.

DDI Codebook 2.5 published / DDI Directions

January 21st, 2012

The DDI Alliance announced that, that after approval by the Expert Committee in November, DDI Codebook Version 2.5 has been officially published.
See http://www.ddialliance.org/Specification/DDI-Codebook/2.5/

A new issue of the DDI Directions newsletter is also now available at:
http://www.ddialliance.org/sites/default/files/DDI%20Directions%20January%202012.pdf

IASSIST 2012: Call for Papers

November 16th, 2011

The 38th IASSIST conference will be held in Washington, DC June 4th-8th, 2012.

The theme of this year’s conference is Data Science for a Connected World: Unlocking and Harnessing the Power of Information. This theme reflects the growing desire of research communities, government agencies and other organizations to build connections and benefit from the better use of data through practicing good management, dissemination and preservation techniques.

The theme is intended to stimulate discussions on building connections across all scholarly disciplines, governments, organizations, and individuals who are engaged in working with data. IASSIST as a professional organization has a long history of bringing together those who provide information technology and data services to support research and teaching in the social sciences. What can we as data professionals with shared interests and concerns learn from others going forward and what can they learn from us? How can data professionals of all kinds build the connections that will be needed to address shared concerns and leverage strengths to better manage, share, curate and preserve data?

Visit http://www.iassist2012.org for information or to submit your paper.

DDI Codebook Version 2.5 Public Review

October 25th, 2011

The newest version of DDI Codebook – Version 2.5 – is now available for review at http://www.ddialliance.org/Specification/DDI-Codebook/2.5. This version, an XML Schema, incorporates new substantive elements requested by the community and is designed to make it easier to migrate documents to DDI Lifecycle for those interested in doing so.

The zipped download package contains the new schema and three files describing the changes from the previous version, DDI 2.1. A spreadsheet with all changes highlighted in red is available here: http://www.ddialliance.org/sites/default/files/Changes_DDI_2.5.xls. Note that namespaces will be reviewed and changed upon approval of DDI 2.5.

DDI Codebook 2.5 is backward compatible with DDI 2.1. Because the changes are limited in scope, the public review of DDI Codebook 2.5 will be expedited and will not require the lengthy procedures set forth in the Bylaws for major changes to the specification.

The public review period starts today and will end on Friday, November 18, 2011.

To vote and to provide comments, please use the survey available at:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6CTFSPT

DDI Directions, Volume V, Number 1, September 2011

September 10th, 2011

The September issue of DDI Directions is now available at:
http://www.ddialliance.org/sites/default/files/DDI%20Directions%20September%202011.pdf
In this issue you will find an article by Wendy Thomas on DDI involvement in the Paris Microdata Group as well as information about the upcoming EDDI meeting in Gothenburg, the new DDI Agency Registry, new working groups, and more.

MRC/ODaF Data Management Workshop, August 11th 2011, London, UK

July 6th, 2011

A workshop on health data management, sponsored by the UK Medical Research Council and the Open Data Foundation, will be held at the Institute of Child Health, London, on Thursday August 11th, 2011.

The purpose is to examine the potential benefits of information standards such as the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange Standard (SDMX) to support effective data management and sharing amongst the public health research community and promote greater transparency to the funding agencies and general public.

The event aims to bring together stakeholders from both medical research and social science communities to provide an opportunity for more detailed discussion of the emerging issues associated with research data management and reuse. This workshop is designed to inform, provoke discussion and potentially help to shape MRC corporate support for data management.

Expected participants include:

* MRC/ESRC Strategists
* MRC/ESRC-funded data managers
* Public health research scientists
* Standards development experts

The following areas will be included in the forthcoming agenda:

* The Research Environment (Funders and government agencies)
* Information Standards for data & metadata sharing
* Practical perspectives from healthcare and social science
* Building an MRC data management and health informatics network

For further information or registration, please contact:
Tito Castillo (t.castillo@ich.ucl.ac.uk) / Arofan Gregory (agregory@odaf.org)
or visit http://www.odaf.org/events/odaf_mrc_workshop_2011.php

New ODaF papers on DDI in NSIs and metadata models for Open Government

July 5th, 2011

We have recently published a couple of white papers concerning the growing interest in DDI among National Statistical Institutes and the issues in Open Government about the use of standard metadata models in combination with RDF-based technologies and standards. Visit the ODaF web site at http://odaf.org/?lvl1=resources&lvl2=papers or see below for more information. Comments/feedback most welcomed.

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“The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI): An Introduction for National Statistical Institutes”,
Arofan Gregory, Open Data Foundation, Jul 2011
http://odaf.org/papers/DDI_Intro_forNSIs.pdf
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.

===============
“Open Data and Metadata Standards: Should We Be Satisfied with ‘Good Enough’?”
Arofan Gregory, Open Data Foundation, Jun 2011
http://odaf.org/papers/Open%20Data%20and%20Metadata%20Standards.pdf
This paper provides a brief description of how the collaboration between open government initiatives, the Linked Data/RDF community, and experts in the field of statistics and research data management could significantly improve the usability of quantitative government data on the Web.

DDI Workshop: Managing Metadata for Longitudinal Data – Best Practices, Sep 19-23, Germany

June 24th, 2011

DDI Workshop: Managing Metadata for Longitudinal Data – Best Practices
September, 19-23, 2011
Leibniz Center for Informatics, Schloss Dagstuhl, Wadern, Germany
http://www.dagstuhl.de/11382

Goals

This symposium-style workshop will bring together representatives from major longitudinal data collection efforts to share expertise and to explore the use of the DDI metadata standard as a means of managing and structuring longitudinal study documentation. Participants will work collaboratively to create best practices for documenting longitudinal data in its various forms, including panel data and repeated cross-sections.

Description of the workshop

Longitudinal survey data carry special challenges related to documenting and managing data over time, over geography, and across multiple languages. This complexity is often a barrier to building efficient systems for data access and analysis. DDI (Data Documentation Initiative) Lifecyle, a metadata standard that addresses the full life cycle of social science research data (formerly referred to as DDI 3), is designed to provide an efficient structure for the documentation of complex longitudinal data. In this workshop, participants involved in longitudinal data projects around the world will work together on issues involved in documenting longitudinal data.

Intended audience: Individuals with expertise in longitudinal social science data; knowledge of DDI is desired but not required. The intent is to have a mix of participants with substantive and technical skills. Participants should provide access to materials describing their projects, which can serve as use cases in applying DDI. The workshop is in English. This is the second Dagstuhl workshop on the topic; the first took place in October 2010. The upcoming workshop will continue the in-depth discussion begun last year, expanding into additional topics.

Expected Results

Participants will write best practice papers, to be published in the DDI Working Paper Working Paper Series. Last year’s workshop produced a series of best practice papers on longitudinal data.

Possible Topics

Documenting comparison, harmonization, and the relationship among concepts, questions, and variables over time, as well as the relationship of respondent types (person, household) are typical issues for longitudinal data. Other topics not specific to longitudinal data:
- Classifications (e.g., ISCO, ISCED)
- Data collection details
- Qualitative data, other types of data sources beyond surveys
- Quality of metadata and data
- Data management planning
- Relationship to the Open Archival Information System (OAIS)
- Extension of DDI for specific needs

These topics are often more salient for longitudinal data, making it even more critical manage these metadata in a structured form over time and countries. The current possibilities of DDI Lifecyle will be explored and areas for future extensions identified.
Additionally, participants can suggest their area of interest.

Venue

The workshop will take place at the Leibniz Center for Informatics, Schloss Dagstuhl, Wadern, Germany. The non-profit center is a member of the Leibniz Association and is funded jointly by the German federal government and a number of state governments. The venue provides an intense working atmosphere in a nice remote region. Several seminar rooms and cafeteria while the day, and leisure rooms like wine bar and billiard room while the evening promote intense discussion and
communication. Accommodation costs at Dagstuhl including full board is 60 Euro/day/person (subsidized rate).

Sponsors

This workshop is sponsored by the DDI Alliance, GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Minnesota Population Center (MPC), and Open Data Foundation (ODaF).

Contact

The names of interested organizations and individuals should be sent to ddi-expert-workshop@icpsr.umich.edu. Please provide contact information, area of interest, and area of expertise for each individual, information regarding DDI Lifecyle implementation, and a statement of what each individual can contribute to the workshop. Direct questions to ddi-expert-workshop@icpsr.umich.edu. Twenty-one participants will be accepted.

Links

Related Web page:
http://www.dagstuhl.de/11382
Best practice papers on longitudinal data:
http://www.ddialliance.org/resources/publications/working/BestPractices/LongitudinalData
DDI Working Paper Working Paper Series:
http://www.ddialliance.org/resources/publications/working
Further information on “How to get to Dagstuhl”:
http://www.dagstuhl.de/en/about-dagstuhl/arrival/
Pictures of Dagstuhl:
http://www.dagstuhl.de/en/about-dagstuhl/press/downloads/
DDI Alliance:
http://www.ddialliance.org/
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences:
http://www.gesis.org/
Minnesota Population Center (MPC):
http://www.pop.umn.edu/
Open Data Foundation (ODaF):
http://www.opendatafoundation.org/