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Data Description with the DDI-Cross Domain Integration (DDI-CDI): 1 – Introductory Webinar

A webinar to introduce the topic of data description with DDI-CDI was held on Wednesday 12th August at 14:00 UTC and was followed by a discussion workshop held a week later on 19th August 2020 at 14:00 UTC.

The introductory webinar to data description with DDI-CDI focussed on:

  • understanding the meaning of data;
  • cross-domain exchange;
  • harmonization, including e.g.
    • the same measurement represented in different data structures, and
    • different measurements are being compared;
  • transformation across structures and platforms


Presentation and Recording

The presentation from the introductory webinar on data description using DDI-CDI may be downloaded here.

The recording from the first webinar may be viewed below.



DDI-CDI is a model-driven specification that is designed to provide support for the wide number of use cases that use data from multiple sources and domains. It originates from the  Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) sciences, but is designed to be applicable to data coming from any domain. Integrating data across domain and disciplinary boundaries requires a flexible mechanism for describing disparate data sources, and their provenance and processing. DDI-CDI is designed to meet these emerging needs for the integration of data in old and new forms, coming from a variety of domains.

Cross Domain (Data) Integration is particularly important for grand challenge research areas that necessarily combine data of many types. CODATA sees great potential in

DDI-CDI as a contribution to the International Science Council-endorsed Decadal Programme ‘Making Data Work for Cross-Domain Grand Challenges’. Consequently, CODATA through the Decadal Programme will partner with DDI in the public review process, assisting in getting feedback.

DDI-CDI aims to be technology agnostic and to be adaptable to any platform or representation. At the moment the DDI-CDI specification is provided as a formal UML model and as an XML syntax representation of that model: we are keen to adapt it to other technologies and representations, including RDF, JSON, Python etc.


To prepare for the event…

At the event data description using DDI-CDI was introduced, followed by a structured discussion between the audience and people from the DDI-CDI team, with the event lasting for an hour.

To prepare for the event, participants were asked to look at the draft presentation and were invited to think about the following questions in advance:

  • Are there data structures that you commonly use that we don’t seem to have covered?
    • What are they?
    • Do you see potential in DDI-CDI for needs that you currently haven’t met?
  • What have we missed?