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Re: [sshrd] New RDA Working Group on Alignment of Multilingual Vocabularies in SSH – kick off meeting

  • Creator
  • #97281

    George Alter

    Hi Ryan and Arnaud,
    I’m glad to see this RDA WG forming.
    You may be aware that a group sponsored by IUSSP and CODATA published a
    report on “FAIR Vocabularies in Population Research” ( I co-chaired that group, and I am
    forming a new IUSSP committee to implement those recommendations. The
    report does not address the issue of multi-lingualism, but we are building
    on a succession of “Multi-lingual Dictionaries of Demography” that goes
    back to 1954.
    Based on our experience, there are two issues that are missing from the
    draft Case Statement.
    First, a FAIR vocabulary must have a firm institutional base and a clear
    governance structure. Governance is discussed in the first rule of the
    “Ten Simple Rules” paper. This is particularly difficult in the SSH
    fields, most of which have little history of coordinated long-term effort.
    Second, it was clear to us that we need to build bridges to existing data
    infrastructures that use and produce controlled vocabularies. We spent a
    lot of time learning about the use of SDMX in the international statistical
    community from WG members at the UN, ILO, and OECD. SDMX is the
    metadata standard used to describe data exchanged by national and
    international institutions. SDMX includes structures for describing
    concepts and codelists. The draft Case Statement will include a section on
    the UN SDGs. You should be aware that the UN is using SDMX to describe SDG
    data, and there are already lists of SDG concepts and codelists in the SDMX
    Global Registry (
    I understand that these issues may be beyond the scope of the proposed RDA
    WG. There is certainly a lot to do.
    I signed up for the October 10 meeting, but if you would like to learn more
    about our work for IUSSP, I will be happy to find a time to talk.
    George Alter
    Research Professor Emeritus
    Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
    Tel: 734-478-0783
    Email: ***@***.***
    On Wed, Oct 4, 2023 at 10:11 AM Ryan O’Connor via Social Science
    Research Data IG wrote:

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