EDDI17: 9th Annual European Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) User Conference


On December 5th, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not only announced the exclusion of the Russian Olympic team in Lausanne, simultaneously the Swiss city also acted as the venue for the European DDI user conference.

The conference brought together DDI users and experts from all over Europe and the world. Anyone interested in developing or using DDI was invited to attend and present. The host of the event was FORS, the Swiss national centre of expertise in the social sciences and member of the CESSDA ERIC (Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives) network. In the context of this conference, several thematic tutorials and workshops took place.

The conference provided presentations on a wide range of topics related to DDI:

  • Implementations in Software-Tools
  • Case studies
  • Interplay with other standards or technologies
  • Development of DDI Version 3.3 and 4.0  

Reuse of Metadata

One recurrent main topic of the keynotes and the panel discussions was the reuse of metadata. The metadata should be given the same attention as the research data. Metadata can be seen as a resource to find data and is vital in establishing a connection between data producers and data users. For this reason it is important to have cross-platform compatibility for the export and import of metadata, so that once generated metadata are available and findable in various repositories.

CESSDA Side Meetings

Before and after the conference, CESSDA project teams took the opportunity to meet in project meetings, such as the CESSDA Euro Question Bank (EQB) project, which implements a central search facility across all CESSDA's survey holdings. EQB is based on the DDI-Lifecycle standard and is developed in close collaboration with the CESSDA Metadata Management project. The CESSDA Metadata Management Project further develops CESSDA's metadata model and its controlled vocabularies. Another key task is to develop user guidelines and best practices for CESSDA Service Providers.

The logo of the Data Documentation Initiative
The facade of Lausanne train station.
The train station of Lausanne (photo: Christian Bischof).
The gothic cathedral of Lausanne.
The cathedral of Lausanne (photo: Christian Bischof).