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Thursday 16th July, 09:00 - 10:30 Room: O-106

Recent developments in survey metadata capture, discovery and harmonisation

Convenor Ms Louise Corti (UK Data Archive, University of Essex )
Coordinator 1Jon Johnson (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education)
Coordinator 2Joachim Wackerow (GESIS)

Session Details

There are increasing numbers of survey metadata search and browse tools available on the web. These tools – question banks, variable searches and the like – are in various states of maturity, adhere to a variety of standards (and none) and provide access to a range of survey metadata. Despite their differences, a key thread running through all of these tools is the need to capture metadata as early on in the survey life-cycle as possible. Not only does this aid survey data management during data collection, it is also crucial to the storage and retrieval of metadata required for accurate and efficient archiving; itself, a pre-requisite for successful resource discovery later on, especially where metadata items are re-used (for example, in continuing survey series or longitudinal studies).

Current versions of CAI software are, however, limited in their ability to provide this metadata, even as a by-product of their primary function of collecting data. This session will address the cultural, logistical and technical barriers to the contemporaneous capture of these metadata. It will also showcase emerging solutions to the problem, including developments in the extraction of survey metadata from CAI scripts to create XML files compliant with metadata standards such as the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI).

The adoption by fieldwork agencies of metadata standards such as DDI is also dependent upon a critical mass of existing survey metadata upon which to draw. This session will also address recent developments in the UK and elsewhere in Europe where the creation of historical survey metadata repositories could be used to inform the future collection of metadata not only for discovery purposes but also to flag harmonisations and equivalences across surveys/studies.

Paper Details

1. Incentivising the uptake of re-usable metadata in the survey production process
Ms Louise Corti (UK Data Archive)

To some ‘metadata’ is a complete way of life; to others it is a swear word. The word has numerous interpretations, but everyone in the survey data publishing and archiving business appreciates the value of using robust metadata. What is still missing is the use of sustainable survey metadata in the processes of survey design, production and data analysis. In this talk I will discuss why this matter is important, and explore some of the great work being done to help incentivise those working in the broader sphere of survey research to embrace reusable survey metadata.

2. Utilising DDI 3.2 in the Survey Process with IBM SPSS Data Collection
Mr Jon Johnson (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Insititute of Education, UCL)
Mr Robert Pratt (Social Research Institute, Ipsos MORI)

IBM SPSS Data Collection is one of the most widely used platforms for survey research. It is used by large market and social research agencies who often collaborate with government and academic institutions on social research projects. As commissioning bodies make more use of DDI there will be an increasing need to convert between these formats and converting through an intermediate, such as SPSS. This presentation outlines how Colectica, IoE & Ipsos MORI are collaborating to streamline the production of high quality data and CAI instrument documentation based on the survey implemented in IBM

3. The DASISH Questionnaire Design Documentation Tool: Functionalities, DDI usage, and outlook for further work
Miss Yvette Prestage (City University London)
Mr Havard Bakkmoen (Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD))
Ms Hilde Orten (Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD))

As part of three tools developed under the DASISH project, the Questionnaire Design Documentation Tool (QDDT) was designed to assist large-scale survey projects document their questionnaire design process, from the first conceptualization to the final questionnaire.
Designed as part of an integrated toolset, the QDDT uses DDI to ensure that the metadata developed can then be reused at later stages in the survey lifecycle.
The current presentation focuses on the aims and current functionalities of the QDDT, DDI usage and interoperability, as well as an outlook for further developments.

4. Rich Metadata: The Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys Case Study
Mrs Nicole Kirgis (Survey Research Center, University of Michigan )
Mrs Beth-ellen Pennell (Survey Research Center, University of Michigan )
Mrs Gina Cheung (Survey Research Center, University of Michigan )
Mr Yu-chieh Lin (Survey Research Center, University of Michigan)

This presentation will discuss the process and products developed for the publication of the Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys (CPES): The CPES joins together three nationally representative surveys of adults living in the coterminous United States. These data were collected face-to-face using the Blaise software. The CPES includes a unique set of data products that were produced using the Michigan Questionnaire Documentation System (MQDS) which produces Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) compliant output.