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

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Generating Blaise Surveys from the Data Documentation Initiative's Metadata Standard using Colectica
Dan Smith, Jeremy Iverson

Last modified: 2013-10-31

Abstract


The DDI-Lifecycle (DDI-L) metadata, described in XML, includes information about questions, code lists, variables, questionnaires, instrument flow, and conceptual components. These metadata items can be precisely identified and versioned to track changes made during development and over different waves of a survey. This paper details how the precise descriptions of metadata items found in DDI-L can be leveraged to generate complete Blaise questionnaires, a process that helps reduce programming errors, creates an audit trail, and saves valuable programmer time. A process for converting DDI-L to Blaise questionnaires will also be detailed using a DDI-L editing tool named Colectica Designer.

Documenting a survey is a time intensive process prone to errors and often done at the end of the survey design process where some knowledge may have already been lost. In addition to being used in the Blaise code generation, the DDI-L metadata also recorded the entire questionnaire design and implementation process from the beginning. This allows documentation and code books to be automatically generated based off the same DDI-L XML files. The standardized XML format also allows sharing with other organizations, enabling reuse of questionnaire sections across surveys.


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