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Data Documentation Initiative

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DDI Metadata Standard
Data Documentation Initiative Metadata Standard
StatusProduction Use
Year started1995 (1995)
First published1996 (1996)
Latest versionDDI 3.3
April 15, 2020; 4 years ago (2020-04-15)
OrganizationDDI Alliance
CommitteeScientific Board and Technical Committee
Related standardsXML
DomainQuestionnaires Metadata Standard Statistical survey
LicenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

The Data Documentation Initiative (also known as DDI) is an international standard for describing surveys, questionnaires, statistical data files, and social sciences study-level information. This information is described as metadata by the standard.

Begun in 1995,[1] the effort brings together data professionals from around the world to develop the standard. The DDI specification, most often expressed in XML, provides a format for content, exchange, and preservation of questionnaire and data file information. DDI supports the description, storage, and distribution of social science data, creating an international specification that is machine-actionable and web-friendly.[2]

Version 2 (also called "Codebook") of the DDI standard has been implemented in the Dataverse data repository and the data archives of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. The latest version 3.3 (also called "Lifecycle") of the DDI standard was released in 2020.[3]

Member Institutions[edit]

Institution[4] Abbr. Country
Aristotle Cloud Services Australia ACSA Australia
Australian Bureau of Statistics ABS Australia
Centro De Investigaciones Sociológicas CIS Spain
Colectica Colectica US
Cornell University CISER US
Danish Data Archive DDA Denmark
Data Archiving and Networked Services DANS Netherlands
Finnish Social Science Data Archive Finland
German Socio-Economic Panel Study SOEP Germany
GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences GESIS Germany
Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University IQSS US
Institute for the Study of Labor IZA Germany
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research ICPSR US
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT US
Norwegian Social Science Data Services NSD Norway
Open Data Foundation
Princeton University US
Research Data Centre of the German Federal Employment Agency, Institute for Employment Research IAB Germany
Roper Center for Public Opinion Research US
Stanford University US
Survey Research Operations, University of Michigan US
Swedish National Data Service SND Sweden
Swiss Foundation for Research in Social Sciences FORS Swiss
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Associate Member) US
University of Alberta Canada
University of California UCDATA US
University of Guelph Canada
University of Minnesota, Minnesota Population Center MPC US
University of Toronto Scholars Portal Canada
University of Washington, Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology CSDE US
University of Wisconsin-Madison Institute on Aging MIDUS US
World Bank, Development Data Group DECDG US

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