Census 2010 in DDI 3 metadata

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The 2010 Census is one of the most recognizable research questionnaires in the United States. The US Census is advertised on talk shows, in the media, and is mailed to every current home address. This familiarity makes the 2010 Census a great questionnaire to demonstrate some features of the DDI 3 metadata standard and its Data Collection component.

DDI 3 Logo The 2010 Census is a collection of 11 questions:
  • A series of 10 questions asked to "Person 1"
  • 7 questions asked to each additional person, 6 of which are from the main series.
DDI allows these questions, their response domains, intent, concepts, skip patterns, etc. to be described in a standardized format. With this standard format, information can be exchanged between organizations and software packages. Documentation or CATI system source code can also be generated using DDI 3. Below are some examples of automatically generated material from the Census DDI 3 description.

DDI 3 Download

Census 2010 DDI 3
Download DDI 3.1

Generated Documentation

The following were automatically generated from the above DDI 3.1 file.
English (en-US) Albanian (sq) Chinese Simplified (zh-CHS) French (fr) German (de) Spanish (es) Swahili (sw)
Census 2010 DDI 3 rtf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 rtf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 rtf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 rtf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 rtf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 rtf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 rtf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 pdf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 pdf
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Adobe Font Pack
Census 2010 DDI 3 pdf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 pdf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 pdf
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Census 2010 DDI 3 pdf
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Excerpts of the home ownership question, Q3, in DDI.

Let us examine a question in detail to see how it is described using DDI 3.

Question Text

The text of the question can be defined in DDI 3 in multiple languages.

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          <d:QuestionText xml:lang="en-US">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>Is this house, apartment, or mobile home —</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:QuestionText>
          <d:QuestionText xml:lang="sq">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>Kjo shtëpi, apartament ose rulotë</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:QuestionText>
          <d:QuestionText xml:lang="es">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>¿Es esta casa, apartamento o casa móvil</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:QuestionText>
          <d:QuestionText xml:lang="sw">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>Je, hii ni nyumba, orofa, au nyumba inayohamishika -</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:QuestionText>
          <d:QuestionText xml:lang="fr">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>Cette maison, cet appartement ou cette maison mobile</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:QuestionText>
          <d:QuestionText xml:lang="de">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>Dieses Haus, diese Wohnung oder dieses Wohnmobil</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:QuestionText>
          <d:QuestionText xml:lang="zh-CHS">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>这所房子、公寓或移动式房屋是下面哪一种类型?</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:QuestionText>

Categories

The text of the categories can be defined in DDI 3 in multiple languages.

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        <l:Category id="e1e350d6-132b-4a74-b3b8-4f6b39fab9e1" version="10.0.0" versionDate="2010-03-23T01:40:03" missing="false">
          <r:UserID type="11179-IRDI">colectica.com:e1e350d6-132b-4a74-b3b8-4f6b39fab9e1:10</r:UserID>
          <r:Label xml:lang="en-US">Owned by you or someone in this household free and clear (without a mortgage or loan)?</r:Label>
          <r:Label xml:lang="sq">Është në pronësinë tuaj apo të ndonjë banori tjetër të kësaj shtëpie pa garanci (hipotekare apo huamarrjeje)?</r:Label>
          <r:Label xml:lang="es">Propiedad suya o de alguien en este hogar libre y sin deuda (sin una hipoteca o préstamo)?</r:Label>
          <r:Label xml:lang="sw">Unaimiliki au mtu mwingine katika kaya nyumba hii bila ya mkopo?</r:Label>
          <r:Label xml:lang="fr">Ont-ils été achetés sans crédit par vous ou quelqu’un de votre foyer ?</r:Label>
          <r:Label xml:lang="de">gehört Ihnen oder einer Person in diesem Haushalt ohne jegliche Belastung (ohne Hypothek oder Darlehen)?</r:Label>
          <r:Label xml:lang="zh-CHS">属于您或您住户的某个成员,没有任何债务(无抵押或贷款)</r:Label>
        </l:Category>

Question Intent

The intent of a question can also be recorded.

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<d:QuestionIntent xml:lang="en-US">
Asked since 1890. Homeownership rates serve as an indicator of the nation's 
economy. The data are also used to administer housing programs and to inform
planning decisions.</d:QuestionIntent>

Identification and Versioning

Most objects described in DDI 3 can be identified and versioned. This allows for easy reuse in new questionnaires and allows for provenance tracking. In this example the id is globally unique to aid in reuse, and the information about about being named question 3 on the Census questionnaire is recorded in the QuestionItemName. This separation of identification and naming increases interoperability and harmonization across studies.

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<d:QuestionItem id="526cc18c-b672-40b8-a28d-3a589ea8ac1b" version="17.0.0" versionDate="2010-03-23T01:38:51">
          <r:UserID type="11179-IRDI">colectica.com:526cc18c-b672-40b8-a28d-3a589ea8ac1b:17</r:UserID>
          <r:UserID type="Colectica:UserAssignedId">3</r:UserID>
          <d:QuestionItemName xml:lang="en-US">Q3</d:QuestionItemName>

Interviewer Instructions

DDI 3 allows for a complete representation of the questionnaire flow. This includes interviewer instructions as well. Here is an interviewer instruction from Question 7.

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        <d:Instruction id="6a64af72-dc18-4dd1-a6b4-731d8cea0cdd" version="6.0.0" versionDate="2010-03-23T01:33:56">
          <r:UserID type="11179-IRDI">colectica.com:6a64af72-dc18-4dd1-a6b4-731d8cea0cdd:6</r:UserID>
          <d:InstructionText xml:lang="en-US">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>Please report babies as age 0 when the child is less than 1 year old.</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:InstructionText>
          <d:InstructionText xml:lang="sq">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>Ju lutemi raportojini foshnjat si 0 vjeç kur fëmija është më pak se 1 vjeç.</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:InstructionText>
          <d:InstructionText xml:lang="zh-CHS">
            <d:LiteralText><d:Text>如果这个人不满1岁,请将年龄填写为0岁。请将出生年月日填入方格中。</d:Text></d:LiteralText>
          </d:InstructionText>
        </d:Instruction>
        

And much more!

DDI 3 captures all aspects of the data lifecycle. To see all the information about the United States Census 2010 captured using DDI, please download the accompanying DDI 3 file above, or view the documentation that was automatically generated by Colectica using this DDI description.

Questionnaire Flow

With the introduction of DDI version 3, the survey instrument and flow logic can be documented in a standardized form. This information can help researchers understand skip patters and automatically generate respondent universe statements. If the researchers started out creating their survey using DDI, source code could automatically be generated for their survey data collection system (CATI) or paper questionnaires could be generated.

The Census 2010 Instrument flowchart

Census 2010 documented using DDI 3 metadata

DDI Resources

Learn how to create DDI quickly and easily using the Colectica DDI tools. Or, contact us about our metadata consulting, metadata preparation, or custom development services.