New award for UKDA - Data Exchange Tools and Conversion Utilities (DExT)

Article dated: 25 September 2006

The UKDA has recently been successful in attracting a Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) award under the Repositories and Preservation Programme, for the Data Exchange Tools and Conversion Utilities (DExT) project.

Data exchange image The Data Exchange Tools and Conversion Utilities project aims to explore the feasibility of developing data exchange models and data conversion tools for primary research data collected in the course of empirical research. It will develop, refine and test models for data exchange for both survey data and qualitative research data based on eXtensible Markup Language/Resource Description Framework (XML/RDF) schema and will develop tools for data import and export.

The work will also research the feasibility of developing automated conversion procedures for legacy formats. The data formats to be included are those that are commonly used in research such as SPSS, Stata, XML, Atlas-ti, MaxQDA and Nvivo. The test data selected for this project are from the social sciences, but these formats are typically found across all domains of primary research. A small scale evaluation of the models and tools will be carried out in order to inform JISC of the most viable options for future development in this area.

A longer-term aim of this work would be to build a fully functional and scalable facility or service where data formats can be submitted and seamlessly returned in a chosen, desired format. The work in this proposal aims to lay the foundations upon which such a sustainable service could be built. The project runs from 1 November 2006 until 30 October 2007.