30 Nov-2 Dec 2020 Online (France)
Making models into reality: the DDI Profile journey at CESSDA
Darren Bell  1@  , Kerrin Borschewski  2@  
1 : UKDS
2 : GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences

Several years ago, CESSDA had a dream. We would synthesize metadata from European partners and harmonize it into beautiful repositories, whether data catalogues or question banks, by making DDI less terrifying for normal human beings. Thus, the CESSDA Metadata Model (CMM) was born. And then we woke up.

This presentation introduces the CESSDA Metadata Office, the CMM, and how we developed the original vision to support the CDC (CESSDA Data Catalogue) and EQB (European Question Bank). We describe the challenges along the way, from capturing first requirements in spreadsheets to refining the model into an XML schema, then a UML model, and finally, the first real-world implementation of DDI Profiles, which will change the way we measure metadata quality. This has been not only a technical journey but a pan-European collaboration between end-users and metadata experts who communicate in English but are often still speaking different languages. We also offer suggestions (learnt the hard way) about how DDI Profile mechanisms could be improved in future versions. Lastly, we outline future developments in 2021 and how the CESSDA Metadata Validator can help repositories to quality assure their published metadata.

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