The goal for this workshop was to come as near as possible to have an agreement on a common documentation for databases with historical, quantitative data. The starting point was a summary of the present situation with the conclusion that the documentation of the databases should have first priority, since IDS itself is documented by way of the metadata system and the extraction software has a documentation recommendation in a first version.
Existing documentation standards were presented with special focus on the Standard Study Description. It originated in the beginning of the 1980’es but the elements from it are still being used in the state of the art documentation standards like DDI 3.2. The documentation of variables and the inclusion of the sources and their history in the way that IPUMS does were also taken into consideration. Finally a questionnaire on existing databases will be integrated.
The workshop resulted in bringing together the elements from the Standard Study Description, some parts from IPUMS and from the questionnaire into a proposal that can be used for documentation of the databases and their sources. The proposal will be presented at the next General Assembly.
The meeting venue: The National Archives seen from the garden