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Archive for June, 2011

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

Friday, June 24th, 2011

DDI Workshop: Managing Metadata for Longitudinal Data – Best Practices
September, 19-23, 2011
Leibniz Center for Informatics, Schloss Dagstuhl, Wadern, Germany


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.


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).


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


The names of interested organizations and individuals should be sent to 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 Twenty-one participants will be accepted.


Related Web page:
Best practice papers on longitudinal data:
DDI Working Paper Working Paper Series:
Further information on “How to get to Dagstuhl”:
Pictures of Dagstuhl:
DDI Alliance:
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences:
Minnesota Population Center (MPC):
Open Data Foundation (ODaF):

Wolfram Data Summit, Sep 8-9, Washington DC

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

The 2011 Wolfram Data Summit will be held in Washington DC on Sep 8th-9th
For more information, visit

In 2010, Wolfram brought together the leaders of the worldwide data community for the first annual Wolfram Data Summit, an unprecedented, multidisciplinary gathering in Washington, DC. This forum allowed participants to share data-related ideas and innovations across virtually every domain of knowledge and human experience.

The unique format of the summit combines domain-focused sessions—on financial, geographic, medical, scientific, and other types of data—with vibrant, cross-domain sessions on topics of universal interest: crowdsourcing and collaboration, open government data, data in the media, linguistics and data ontologies, and much more.

In its second year, the Wolfram Data Summit intends to further develop this community, involving an even more diverse array of participants and topics.