Abstract class -- In programming languages, an abstract type is a type in a nominative type system which cannot be instantiated directly. Its only purpose is for other classes to extend (see

Binding -- Data binding is a way to un/serialize objects across programs, languages, and platforms. The structure and the data remain consistent and coherent throughout the journey, and no custom formats or parsing are required (see

Canonical -- Conforming to a general rule or acceptable procedure (see

Codebook -- A codebook is a type of document used for gathering and storing codes. Originally codebooks were often literally books, but today codebook is a byword for the complete record of a series of codes, regardless of physical format. See Wikipedia -- DDI Codebook is the development line of the DDI specification that reflects the content of codebooks.

Content Capture -- Content capture refers to the process of harvesting content from other sources. For DDI 4 development, content is being captured using the Drupal content management system to permit machine-processing.

Content Modeler -- One of the group of people determining the requirements for a Functional View and then identifying the set of objects needed to meet those requirements. In this process they may also need to describe new objects.

Data Modeler -- These people work with Content Modelers  to insure that  new objects are consistent with the objects accepted into the approved model. Data Modelers also arrange objects into the final namespace structure of the published model.

DDI -- The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an effort to create an international standard for describing data from the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. Expressed in XML, the DDI metadata specification now supports the entire research data life cycle. DDI metadata accompanies and enables data conceptualization, collection, processing, distribution, discovery, analysis, repurposing, and archiving.

DocBook -- DocBook is a semantic markup language for technical documentation. It was originally intended for writing technical documents related to computer hardware and software but it can be used for any other sort of documentation. As a semantic language, DocBook enables its users to create document content in a presentation-neutral form that captures the logical structure of the content; that content can then be published in a variety of formats, without requiring users to make any changes to the source (see

Drupal -- Drupal is a free and open-source content management framework written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration (see

Enterprise Architect -- Enterprise Architect is a visual modeling and design tool based on the OMG UML. The platform supports: the design and construction of software systems; modeling business processes; and modeling industry based domains. It is used by businesses and organizations to not only model the architecture of their systems, but to process the implementation of these models across the full application development life-cycle (see

Extended Primitive -- An extended data type is a user-defined definition of a primitive data type. The following primitive data types can be extended: boolean, integer, real, string, date and container (see

Extension -- Extension is the inheritance of one object’s properties and relationships from another object. It also has a semantic relationship – an extending object provides a specialized use of the extended object. Extensions are used within the DDI-published packages to provide relationships between objects as they increase in complexity to meet increasingly complex functionality. Thus, a “simple” version of a questionnaire object might be extended into a more complex object, describing a more complex questionnaire.

Framework -- The basic structure of something; a set of ideas or facts that provide support for something; a supporting structure; a structural frame (see

Functional View -- In DDI 4, a functional view identifies a set of objects that are needed to perform a specific task. It primarily consists of a set of references to specific versions of objects. Views are the method used to restrict the portions of the model that are used, and as such they function very much like DDI profiles in DDI 3.*.

Identification -- In the DDI specifications, each object is uniquely identified.

Instantiate -- To create an object of a specific class (see

Library -- The Object Library for DDI 4 encompasses the entire DDI 4.0 model, but without any specific schemas or vocabularies for Functional Views. Objects contain primitives and extended primitives and are the building blocks used to construct the Functional Views. Objects are organized into packages in the Library.

Lifecycle -- The research data lifecycle is a set of processes that begins at study inception and progresses through data collection, data publication, data archiving, and beyond. DDI created a lifecycle model in 2004 to describe this flow (see

Management package -- DDI 4 packages containing library constructs – primitives, extended primitives, objects, and functional views -- which are organized thematically.


Metadata -- Data about data.

Modeling -- The representation, often mathematical, of a process, concept, or operation of a system, often implemented by a computer program. For DDI 4 development, we are using the Universal Modeling Language or UML to model the specification.

Namespace -- A grouping of objects that allows for objects with the same name to be differentiated. The full name of an object is a combination of its namespace and its name within the namespace.

Object -- In the DDI4 model objects are representations of real entities. Objects have properties and relationships. An example might include an “Author” object that might have a Name attribute and an affiliation property linking to an “Organization” object.

Ontology -- A formal representation of knowledge (see

OWL -- Web Ontology Language,“ a semantic markup language for publishing and sharing ontologies on the World Wide Web” (see

Package /UML Package – A grouping of objects in the Library (see namespace).

Platform -- A pre-existing environment in which to represent data and metadata (see for example

Primitive -- A basic type is a data type provided by a programming language as a basic building block. Most languages allow more complicated composite types to be recursively constructed starting from basic types.

RDF - Resource Desription Framework  a data interchange model structuring information into a set of statements having a subject, predicate, and object (see

Serialization -- Transformation of some structure into a specific representation (see

Sprint -- An activity where a group of people comes together to work exclusively on some project.

Study - An activity producing data.

UML -- The Unified Modeling Language (see

UML Class Model -- A model describing objects and their relationships in the Unified Modeling Language (see

URI -- Uniform Resource Identifier,  a unique string of characters used to identify an object (see

Versioning - The assignment of some ordered attribute to objects, In the DDI model whenever a change is made to an approved object it must be given a new version. Objects with the same name and different versions are considered to be separate objects.

Workflow -- A formalized set of processes carried out in a defined sequence (for more detail see

XMI -- An Object Management Group  XML  standard for  exchanging metadata information (see

XSD -- An XML Schema definition (see