EDDI Conference System, EDDI13 – 5th Annual European DDI User Conference

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The Medical Research Council Gateway
Philip Curran, Peter Dukes, Caroline Shriver, Catherine Jones, Alastair Duncan, Alex Addyman

Last modified: 2013-10-13


The Medical Research Council (MRC) Research Data Gateway ("the Gateway") is a central repository for metadata from longitudinal and cohort studies. The goals of the Gateway are to support high quality research across a range of studies with facilities to allow researchers to discover, search, and browse study metadata down to the variable level. The Gateway contains study and variable level metadata with information on over 45,000 variables.

In 2010, five major UK cohort studies provided metadata to the Gateway. Original metadata was ingested from a variety of sources. This bespoke ingestion process consumed a significant portion of the original project resources. In 2011 the project successfully investigated using DDI3 as a medium for metadata ingestion.

When evaluating the Gateway in 2012, it became clear that a much more efficient system was needed to allow study teams to publish updated metadata to the Gateway. At the same time, the emerging DDI-L standard was being evaluated by the research community for expressing longitudinal and cohort study metadata, and tools were appearing to support DDI-L use in study host units. The next phase of the MRC Gateway project will make full use of DDI-L for ingesting and exporting studies.

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