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Thursday 16th July, 11:00 - 12:30 Room: O-106

Structured Metadata: applications, processes, perspectives

Convenor Mr Knut Wenzig (DIW Berlin / GSOEP )
Coordinator 1Mr Daniel Bela (LIfBi / NEPS)

Session Details

Various metadata systems for different sections of the data management lifecycle (e.g. questionnaire development, data preparation, documentation, data dissemination) are in use at institutions dealing with survey research. Resulting benefits are manifold: Data users can take advantage of metadata driven portals which make it easy to search for variables; instrument developers can quickly find questions used in other surveys.

Some of these metadata systems make use of evolving metadata standards (such as DDI or SDMX), some others are developed independently as custom-tailored solutions. Most of them have one idea in common: Structured metadata, stored in relational databases, make it possible to have one single source of information for data on data.

While metadata infrastructure in the first instance sets up the framework, processes have to be established to deploy these systems. As this fact seems to be underexposed in the academic discussion, this session aims to focus on systems which are already implemented and in productive use.

Papers presented in the session should focus on the features of metadata systems, e.g. on the re-use of information on objects, the capability to deal with multilingual content or to drive data preparation, and their practical implementation.
We also want to promote transfer of knowledge about distinct (e.g. serial versus simultaneous) work-flows in using and implementing approaches of managing and making use of metadata.

Finally, this session gives the possibility to discuss the perspectives of different systems concerning deployment in other environments, interfaces to standards or lessons learned during software development.

Paper Details

1. Metadata Begins At The Moment Of Instrument Design
Mr Shane Mcchesney (Nooro Online Research)

The entire survey lifecycle can be driven from a clean survey specification -- from metadata -- including functioning data collection instruments. This session will describe how the Translating Research In Elder Care (TREC) project at the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing used metadata to drive their research right from the survey design stage. It will describe one CAI tool's approach to metadata use, and will also discuss the challenges of changing long-held practices, the benefits of automation, and successes in transforming metadata from a CAI tool's minimalist JSON-based metadata format to DDI (XML).

2. Using Metadata For Rules-Based Data Ingestion In A Secure Data Repository
Mr Shane Mcchesney (Nooro Online Research)

The entire survey lifecycle can be driven from a clean survey specification -- from metadata -- including functioning data collection instruments and automating data file processing. This session will describe how a minimalist JSON-based metadata format has been used to drive academic and social research projects from the survey design stage through data collection, and through the data cleaning and reporting pipeline. It will describe how we created metadata in a case where none previously existed in order to support the automated ingestion of RAI patient assessments from several software providers into a secure data repository for archival.

3. Metadata Driven Integrated Statistical Data Management System
Mr Norberts Talers (Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia)

Metadata Driven Integrated Statistical Data Management System is a data collection system for official statistics from respondents. It consists of two sub systems - data collection for enterprises and data collection from households and persons. Systems core is metadata base which uses process and structure metadata to describe surveys' questionnaires and generate data entry forms.

4. Rogatus - an open source framework to cover the whole data management lifecycle
Mr Ingo Barkow (DIPF)

Rogatus is an open source questionnaire and metadata repository solution basing on the DDI 3.2 standard and using the Generic Longitudinal Business Process Model (GLBPM) to specify its tool chain. Currently the project is supported by DIPF, IAB and GESIS and creates more and more interest especially with NSIs and data collection agencies. This presentation gives an update on new developments since ESRA 2013 including the data management module, coding support for ISCED, improvements on the case management system, compatibility to other platforms like Colectica or MMIC plus an outlook on the mobile client "Aitema".

5. Using a generic process model to implement metadata-driven applications -- the example of DDI on Rails
Mr Marcel Hebing (DIW Berlin)

DDI on Rails is a data portal, specialized on the documentation of panel studies like the German Socio-Economic Panel study (SOEP). As the name implies, the software uses the DDI standard (Data Documentation Initiative) to accomplish interoperability with other tools. Furthermore, the design is based on the Generic Longitudinal Business Process Model (GLBPM) to ensure that the software fits into the processes of various panel studies. The paper discusses the role of metadata standards (DDI) and process models (GLBPM) for the implementation of metadata-driven applications like DDI on Rails.

6. Automated construction of flexible metadata models in data archives
Mr Ihor Reshetnov (KIIS)

The software platform with flexible metadata model for survey research archives was created and successfully applied to Ukrainian national survey archive and HIV/AIDS Ukrainian archive. Its key features are metadata model adoptable for each project, advanced search capabilities and metadata-driven user interface of data archive. As the next step in platform evolution we see usage of information retrieval algorithms for automatic metadata model construction solely on the basis of data materials available in archive in form of datasets, questionnaires and other files. In particular, it will be studied the application of latent-semantic indexing approach for metadata construction.