30 Nov-2 Dec 2020 Online (France)

Call for papers

The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an international standard for describing the data produced by surveys and other observational methods in the social, behavioral, economic, and health sciences.

For the European DDI User Conference 2020, we are seeking presentations, talks, papers, posters on all things DDI:

  • Case Studies
  • Mature implementations
  • Early Implementations
  • Interplay of DDI with other standards or technologies
  • Projects in early phases in which DDI is under consideration
  • Critiques of DDI

We strongly encourage papers in different areas to ensure that a broad balance of topics is covered which will attract the greatest breadth of participants. We encourage conference participants to submit proposals that would be of interest to themselves and other attendees. For content types and presentation forms see the section on submission below.

Proposed topics of the conference

We expect that many presentations will cross over between topic areas but that should not discourage proposals, although you will be asked to nominate one category when submitting. Please also note that the possible topics are not exclusive to those listed:

  • User Needs, Efficient Infrastructures and Improved Quality

Rich, standard-based metadata can a) improve the fulfilment of the need for better documentation for researchers and other users; b) improve efficiency by providing infrastructures that drive data collection, data processing and dissemination (e.g. metadata-portals); c) improve quality of our products and processes. Papers describing innovative solutions covering the parts of or the whole life-cycle from collection to dissemination based on metadata are encouraged. Papers focusing on metadata driven production are welcomed as well.

  • Official Statistics

National and international statistical organizations around the world are collaborating on modernizing and standardizing their processes for collecting and disseminating data. As they look to the future, these organizations share a need for inter-related standards like the Generic Statistical Business Process Model (GSBPM), the Generic Activity Model for Statistical Organizations (GAMSO), the Generic Statistical Information Model (GSIM), the Common Statistical Production Architecture (CSPA), DDI, and SDMX. We welcome papers with a focus on standards in the context of official statistics.

  • Reusing and Sharing Metadata

DDI is strongly focused on the principles of metadata re-use and interoperability. “Enter once and use many times” is a powerful paradigm that can lead to improved fulfilment of user needs, improved quality and improved efficiency. Papers that demonstrate innovative ways to re-use, share and harmonize metadata are welcomed.

  • Data Harmonization

There is increasing interest in using data harmonization to maximize the value of large scale population research in health and social sciences for both documentation and processing purposes. DDI has rich constructs such as Concept, Comparison and Group, and most recently enhanced by the addition of ConceptualVariable and RepresentedVariable in DDI 3.2. We encourage papers which describe projects utilizing DDI or exploring DDI as a basis for harmonizing data.

  • Incentives to Document Data

The advantage of having good documentation on data is rarely challenged, but it is often left as the last thing (or maybe not even that) to do on a research project. This is because the benefits for researchers come largely from publication and not from the data itself. In this context, changing both the culture and the rewards for documentation and sharing of data might be seen as key motivators. We encourage papers exploring this topic with the focus on DDI.

  • Open Data and Linked Open Data

As the “Open Data” movement – which aims to make data more freely available – gains more and more attention in science and humanities, especially in the area of government data, the value of data that are easy to access and not limited by restrictive licenses is acknowledged. By using “Linked Open Data” technologies the ability to create reproducible and transparent research is enabled. For both, high quality metadata that is standardized and machine-actionable, like DDI metadata, is crucial. We encourage papers in the area of Open Data and Linked Open Data with a focus on DDI.

  • Privacy and Access Control

The sharing of data or metadata is sometimes restricted due to privacy issues or property rights. Especially, but not exclusively, in health research there is the need to protect the privacy of persons to whom the data refer. In social sciences and humanities, data can contain copyrighted material like texts and photos. Access rights can be determined by well standardized metadata. Thus good metadata management enables the protection of research participants’ and researchers’ rights and ensures an organization’s investment in data and metadata. We encourage papers in the area of concepts or implementations of privacy and access control issues with a focus on DDI.

  • Metadata versus Data and Related Ethics

In the case of surveys, there is usually a clear distinction between data and metadata. However, for example, in the context of qualitative research the boundary between data and metadata is less clear-cut. This issue also arises with big data sources like Facebook and other social media. Ultimately what is perceived to be data and what is perceived to be metadata is defined by research questions. This poses some difficult questions for research ethics when release, use and access to data usually have governance, yet metadata conceivably does not. We encourage papers focusing on this area of tension with the background of DDI.

  • Software / Tools

The acceptance and adoption of a “standard” depends on the availability of re-usable tools and software to utilize it. Many new tools that leverage DDI are emerging, and they target different parts of the data life cycle. We encourage papers showcasing tools and software which make use of DDI or parts of it.


If you are interested in submitting a proposal, please have a look at the overview on the submissions page.

Presentation forms can be :

  • Complete Session
  • Full Paper
  • Regular Presentation
  • Short Presentation
  • Poster/Software Demonstration
  • Submission: abstract (200 words maximum).
  • Tutorial or Workshop
  • Side Meeting

Call for Reviewers

Please consider indicating availability as a reviewer.

General Information

For questions or any other correspondence regarding the CfP of EDDI20, please send an email to the program committee (eddi20-prog@googlegroups.com).

Author Guidelines

Important dates

  • Deadline of Call for Papers / all proposals due: July 20, 2020, (23:59 CEST). Deadline extension annouced till July 20 (23:59 CEST).
  • Notification of acceptance for all proposals: August 4, 2020
  • Final version of full papers due: November 8, 2020

Please have a look at the complete timeline at the overview page.

For Full papersa draft suitable for review must be submitted by the deadline of the CfP (July 20, 2020). The paper reviews will be sent to the authors by October 14, 2020.

  • Full papers (a suggested 8-12 pages plus appendices) must follow the rules of IASSIST Quarterly. Submissions should use the IQ template
  • Please pay attention to the details in the template and submit your contribution in Microsoft Word document file format (or RTF or OpenOffice) and PDF format.
  • Accepted papers have to be submitted in Microsoft Word document file format (or RTF or OpenOffice) and PDF format.
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