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Pioneers in data discoverability – taking it to the next level

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This week the CLOSER Discovery team will be in Paris talking all things data and discoverability at the 14th Annual European Data Documentation Initiative (EDDI) User conference.  

Jon Johnson (CLOSER Technical Lead), Dr Hayley Mills (Senior Metadata Officer), Becky Oldroyd (Metadata Officer) and Jennifer Spiegel (Metadata Assistant) will be busy throughout the week leading training workshops and presenting several talks and poster presentations. 

EDDI is the annual conference for users of DDI – Data Documentation Initiative – a metadata standard for the social, economic, and behavioural sciences. The conference provides a forum for DDI users from Europe and across the world to showcase their work and progress toward DDI adoption and discuss shared challenges and potential solutions.  

EDDI was set up in 2009, with the aim of building a community that supports the data management needs of organisations across Europe. In 2014, CLOSER hosted EDDI in London. Jon Johnson has been co-chair since 2017.

CLOSER’s presence at EDDI22

Workshop: DDI Metadata Training (13:00-15:30 CET, 28 November 2022)

To kick off the conference week, DDI Alliance and CODATA will host a free, online metadata training workshop, open to anyone including those not attending the full conference (though places must be booked in advance). The session will include overviews of the different DDI standards and demonstrations of DDI tools. 

Dr Hayley Mills will explore the DDI Lifecycle standard and its features, and Becky Oldroyd will demonstrate CLOSER’s in-house developed open-source software, Archivist, used for documenting questionnaires to the DDI standard.  

Workshop: Questionnaires (10:00-16:00 CET, 29 November 2022)

On a day of pre-conference workshops and tutorials, Jon Johnson and Dr Hayley Mills will team up with Chair of the DDI Technical Committee, Wendy Thomas, to deliver a workshop on questionnaires. This session will be an opportunity for those creating and reusing questions and questionnaires to share their knowledge and experiences. It aims is to develop best practice for implementation and interoperability and generate ideas for revisions and extensions for future versions of DDI Lifecycle. 

Workshop: Implementation Languages (09:00-17:00 CET, 5 & 6 December)

Jon Johnson and Wendy Thomas (IPMUS) are co-organising an international workshop on alignment across the DDI standards and future languages and implementations. Find out more about the work on the DDI Alliance website

Talks and poster presentations

The CLOSER Discovery team will present a talk and two posters at this year’s conference: 

  • Talk: How do we document validated questionnaires and their usage? (10:45 – 12:00 CET, 1 December 2022)
    Dr Hayley Mills will present plans for documenting standardised scales in DDI and making these discoverable in CLOSER Discovery. 
  • Poster: Extract2DDI – open-source software to extract DDI-Lifecycle from SPPS and Stata (13:00-13:45 CET, 1 December 2022)
    Jon Johnson will showcase the beta launch of Extract2DDI, a tool which generates DDI metadata from SPSS and STATA data files. Building on the open-source code base, developed at the UK Data Archive, and subsequently enhanced at Cornell in 2017, functionality has been added to exclude summary statistics for specified variables.
  • Poster: In Search of Standardised Scales (13:00-13:45 CET, 1 December 2022)
    Becky Oldroyd will focus on work by the team and CLOSER interns on creating and surfacing standardised scales metadata, part of a wider project to scale up CLOSER Discovery.

Further information

CLOSER Discovery is an innovative research tool that enables researchers to search, explore and assess data from multiple UK longitudinal population studies.  

Users have the option to search by keyword or explore by topic and can filter search results by study, topic, and life stage, making it easy to explore specific areas of interest. Each search result provides a summary of the variables available, the question on which a variable is based, and its lineage within the questionnaire.  

Our recent blog, Pioneers in data discoverability – the CLOSER metadata search platform charts our CLOSER Discovery journey – from its initial aims and development to the challenges we faced and the solutions we found.  

For more information about the conference, visit the EDDI22 conference website and follow the event hashtag #EDDI22 on Twitter for live updates.