The book–which uses R code to illustrate examples–begins with a clear definition of Data Science:Data Science refers to an emerging area of work concerned with the collection, preparation, analysis, visualization, management and preservation of large collections of information.
Documenting research data and processes is becoming highly relevant in the age of Big Data. The Data Documentation Initiative (http://www.ddialliance.org/what) is an effort to standardize how social science metadata are described, thus leading to more efficient discovery and analysis of data.
Recently, a workshop was held in Germany to expand the scope of DDI and make it simpler to use. To those ends, DDI plans to adopt a model-based specification that can be expressed in XML, RDF/OWL technology, relational database schema, and other languages. To broaden its appeal beyond a programmer and software developer audience, it was decided that DDI needs to avoid jargon and use terminology that is familiar to social science researchers and data librarians. Please contact RDS if you are interested in applying DDI to your research project.