Products – Codebook Exchange

The first phase was to develop a Codebook Exchange format. A Codebook in a qualitative or mixed-methods project is a list of defined keywords/phrases that represent themes/concepts or other topics of interest to the researcher. These keywords/phrases are usually referred to as ‘codes’. In QDA software programs, codes can be linked to segments of data in the sources where they are identified. As well as listing codes in a Codebook, codes can also be organised in different ways depending on the software program being used.

Implementation of the Codebook Exchange means that a Codebook developed in one of these software programs can be exported and then imported into any of the other programs listed below. Because there are differences in how each program functions with respect to codes and their organisation, users may experience some modifications upon importing a Codebook into a different program. For the current version ‘round-tripping’ has not been tested. Round-tripping means going from software 1 to software 2 and then from software 2 back to software 1.

The QDA-XML Codebook Exchange Standard has been designed and tested, and is now available for use as follows:

 Software Tested Implemented
ATLAS.ti Mac Mac & Windows
Dedoose No No
f4analyse Yes Yes
NVivo Mac Windows
QDA Miner Yes Yes
Quirkos Windows Linux, Mac & Windows
Transana Yes Yes

Representatives of Dedoose were peripherally involved in developing the Codebook Exchange format and are currently implementing and testing the codebook standard. Representatives of MAXQDA were not involved in developing the Codebook Exchange format but are intending to implement it in the future.