News, Events, Annoucements

Archive for July, 2011

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

Wednesday, 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 ( / Arofan Gregory (
or visit

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

Tuesday, 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 or see below for more information. Comments/feedback most welcomed.

“The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI): An Introduction for National Statistical Institutes”,
Arofan Gregory, Open Data Foundation, Jul 2011
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
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.