Increasing the Reusability of Qualitative Data with XML

Thomas Muhr


A rising number of QDA (Qualitative Data Analysis) programs exist today each having their own approaches, strengths and weaknesses. For the researcher it is not always an easy choice. This decision is often crucial, as each of the programs process project data in their own proprietary (vendor specific) formats, sometimes equipped with options to convert it into another—often also proprietary—format. Proprietary data enforces platform and vendor dependence, makes flexible choice of methods, free data exchange across projects, space, time and methods a costly if not impossible experience. A "single-source-multiple-use" approach offers means to represent data from different sources in a format which can be processed by existing and future applications. An emerging new standard and powerful tool, the eXtensible Markup Language (XML), has the potential to represent data in a way ("OpenQD") that retains its semantics and makes its reuse in "alien" applications an economical option. This article is addressed to researchers ("users"), developers of QDA software and administrators of data archives.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0003202


qualitative data analysis; reusability; archives; software; XML; open standard; ATLAS.ti; OpenQD; QDML

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Copyright (c) 2000 Thomas Muhr

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