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The goal of the workshop is a better understanding of how metadata specifications can be aligned to support cross-discipline (or cross domain) data integration and analysis, with a consideration of standards from the social, health and environmental sciences, along with generic all-purpose metadata standards. It will do so with specific reference on the one hand to the standards and initiatives mentioned below and on the other hand to specific case studies in infectious disease, disaster risk and resilient cities.

Detailed Workshop Description, as PDF

Google doc for draft paper.

Topics Overview

The workshop is designed to focus on two dimensions in the interdisciplinary use of data and metadata:

  • From high-level to detail: How to support discovery of data on the basis of a high-level description, and possibly also on more details like concepts related to observations and variables? How to support analysis of data across domains?
  • From domain-specific to cross-domain: How can domain-specific data/metadata be transformed in a way that cross-domain approaches regarding discovery and analysis can be supported?

We propose to address those dimensions through the following topics:

  1. Cross-domain use of metadata specifications
  2. Standards for specific activities in cross-domain use
  3. Data description and organisation
  4. Workflow for data description
  5. Recommendations and design principles

The following existing metadata 'standards' are represented in the workshop:

  • ISO 19115 Geographic Information (Steve Richard, Simon Cox)
  • CERIF (Rebecca Koskela)
  • EML - Ecological Metadata Language (Bill Michener, Rebecca Koskela)
  • DDI (Jay Greenfield, Dan Gillman, Arofan Gregory, Larry Hoyle, Steve McEachern, Wendy Thomas, Joachim Wackerow)
  • HL7/FHIR (Harold SolbrigEric Prud'hommeaux, Jay Greenfield)
  • DATS (Alejandra Gonzalez Beltran)
  • DCAT (Peter Winstanley, Alejandra Gonzalez Beltran, Simon Cox, Phil Archer)
  • SSN (Armin Haller, Simon Cox)
  • QB (Data Cube) (Phil ArcherArofan Gregory, Eric Prud'hommeaux)
  • Other W3C (Phil Archer, Eric Prud'hommeaux)

Draft Agenda and Proposed Output








Cross-domain use of metadata specifications


Background papers

  1. General description of the workshop
  2. Context and case studies from the CODATA interoperability initiative

Standards for specific activities in cross-domain use




Metadata profiles

  1. DCAT profile for DDI - covers the connection between study and variable/concept level
  2. DCAT profile for SSN - Observation collections and dataset descriptions

Data description and organisation




Working paper with 3 sections and a metadata profile (in DDI?) for each format

  1. Description of common data formats
  2. Comparison of standards in describing these formats
  3. Analysis of datum-based approach as a generic approach for data description within these standards (i.e. to enable cross-domain description)

Workflow and metadata specification




Paper outlining workflow description:

  1. Description of the transformation workflow from domain-specific data/metadata  to domain-independent forms
    (The PROV-O and DDI 4 Process model are candidates here)

Recommendations and design principles




Two working papers:

  1. Applying the above outputs in the pilot projects
  2. General design principles for metadata specifications to achieve interoperability and cross-domain use

Link to Dagstuhl Daily Schedule (meal times, etc.)

Materials for Use in Workshop

Organizers and Participants


  • Simon Cox, CSIRO Australia and W3C Dataset Exchange Working Group
  • Simon Hodson, CODATA (Committee on Data of the International Council for Science)
  • Steven McEachern, Australian National University and DDI Alliance
  • Joachim Wackerow, GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and DDI Alliance

Participants list

Local Information

Dates: October 1-5, 2018

The workshop takes place at Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz Center for Informatics. It has the Dagstuhl event number 18403 and a related web page.

See the separate page for practical information.

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