[CODATA-international] The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications

Asha CODATA asha at codata.org
Mon May 3 08:37:01 EDT 2021

recently completed a European Open Science Cloud co-creation project which
explored the potential uses and applications of the draft Data
Documentation Initiative Cross-Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) specification
for EOSC.  The main output was a substantial report The Role of DDI-CDI in
EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications
<https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4707263> which explores the challenges
faced by EOSC and discusses a number of use cases/examples of the role that
DDI-CDI can play.

Main report: The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications

The report was produced in close consultation with members of the DDI
Alliance that developed the specification.  A wide range of experts
participated in workshops and intensive meetings, as detailed in the
activity report produced for the EOSC Secretariat.

The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Report on Activities

Documentation on DDI-CDI is available below.  The DDI Alliance aim to
publish the production release in June/July 2021.
Report Launch Workshop, 2 June

The report will be launched at a virtual workshop to be held at 13:00-15:00
UTC on Weds 2 June.  This workshop will summarise the key findings and
recommendations of the report; discuss the examples/case studies and how
they may be further explored and tested; and identify next steps for trial
implementations.  The agenda and registration for the launch workshop will
be announced in the near future.  In the meantime, please save the date!
The Role of DDI-CDI in EOSC: Possible Uses and Applications

This report looks at the potential use of the Data Documentation Initiative
Cross-Domain Integration (DDI-CDI) specification to the data-sharing
requirements faced by EOSC. By analyzing real-world projects and
implementations, and through discussion with those responsible for related
metadata and infrastructure specifications, the potential role played by
the DDI-CDI model in the overall EOSC system is envisioned, and
recommendations made for how to realize the identified opportunities for
its use.

The challenges faced by EOSC can be broken into two main areas:

– Problems of Scale: The volume of data is growing exponentially and is
coming from a wider range of sources. At the same time, the FAIR principles
require an increased amount of metadata, especially when it comes to
interoperability and reuse of that data. Current manual approaches are
proving to be unsustainable. The automation of metadata collection – that
is, harvesting metadata programmatically from systems which produce,
manage, disseminate, and use data – offers a possible solution, but the
necessary framework for such activities is not in place. Standard models
and encoding for such metadata (a “lingua franca”) must be established for
large-scale capture and exchange of metadata.

– Problems of Cross-Domain Use: In order for data to be shared across
domain and institutional boundaries, it must be understood by its users at
all levels. While increasing attention is paid to the semantic mapping of
concepts across domains, there are other critical needs for such data
sharing. Disparate data structures must be accommodated, based on the tools
and formats used in specific domains, and the means of data collection and
processing – the provenance of the data – must be understood. Use of
specific domain models and vocabularies must be known, and they must be
accessible in a machine-actionable form. Reusable crosswalks between
domains are needed. All of these requirements point to the need for more
granular metadata, so that data can be successfully re-arranged to be
suitable for use outside its domain of origin. The path of a single
observation, as it is reused and further processed, should be knowable.

DDI-CDI will not address all of these concerns; no single standard or
technology will provide a complete answer. It has, however, been designed
to fill important gaps in the needed range of standards, models, and
technologies to meet these challenges. On the basis of an intensive series,
of meetings, conference sessions, workshops and other discussions with a
range of different groups, this report looks at use cases and the emerging
FAIR ecosystem to understand the potential application of DDI-CDI, and the
role it could play within a broader frame. The approach being taken by
EOSC—as described in the EOSC Interoperability Framework and in other
activities—is then assessed to show specifically where DDI-CDI would fit.
Recommendations for further work are then made on that basis.

Specific implementation examples include a data integration using climate
data, energy consumption data, and consumer questionnaire responses; an
example of how a repository could facilitate automated capture of metadata,
based on the Dataverse platform; a data integration example from the
European Social Survey Multi-Level application; and an exploration of
processing, provenance, and cross-domain requirements as seen in the ALPHA
Network and INSPIRE applications for the integration of population and
clinical data. An analysis of how DDI-CDI could be used in combination with
DCAT is presented, and the role which DDI-CDI could play within the
emerging FAIR ecosystem, in relation to FAIR Implementation Profiles, FAIR
Data Points, and FAIR Digital Objects, is examined. Finally, the way in
which DDI-CDI could be integrated into the emerging EOSC infrastructure is
considered in light of the EOSC Interoperability Framework and the
FAIRsFAIR vision of integrated metadata catalogues.

DDI-CDI offers a new type of specification which could help to realize the
capture, interchange, and use of metadata throughout the EOSC data-sharing
infrastructure, and could do so in ways which are scalable and
machine-actionable. It operates at the needed level of granularity and
would work to heighten the utility of semantic mapping and approaches to
the full utilization of data. Our recommendations identify several concrete
areas where this application of the model should be further explored.
DDI-CDI Documentation


Public review page: https://ddi-alliance.atlassian.net/wiki/x/IQBPMw

Complete download package:

Announcement at DDI Alliance website:
Recognition of funding for the EOSC Co-Creation Project

This work was supported by the EOSC Secretariat.  EOSCsecretariat.eu has
received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Programme call
H2020-INFRAEOSC-2018-4, Grant Agreement number 831644.





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Asha Law | Program Assistant, CODATA | http://www.codata.org

E-Mail: asha at codata.org
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