qualitative exchange standard launches


Today we are launching a free update for Quirkos which adds support for the new QDA-XML standard which is released publicly today for the first time. This will allow users to bring their coded project data from one qualitative software package to another, with support eventually promised from ATLAS.ti, Dedoose, f4analyse, MAXQDA, Nvivo, Transana and QDA Miner. Essentially this means that in the next year you will be able to bring your projects in and out of any of the major software packages to any other.


A large coalition of qualitative software developers (including Quirkos) have been working on this standard for several years, guided by a group of qualitative experts in the Rotterdam Exchange Format Initiative (REFI) group. A codebook exchange standard, which only allows the users to bring their coding framework into other software has been available for about a year (we wrote about the significance of it here), but the new standard will allow you to bring your sources, coded data and much more. Full details of the standard can be found on the project website www.qdasoftware.org, and there is a blog article with more detail here: https://www.fivelevelqda.com/article/13987-big-moment-for-caqdas-qda-xml-exchange.


Only a few qualitative software packages are launching versions that support the standard today (Transana, ATLAS.ti, Quirkos), but within the next few months there will be broader support as updates are released.


In Quirkos 2.1, you can now click on Open Other in the Project welcome screen, and change the file type from Quirkos .qrk project files to select a QDPX file. This is imported as a new Quirkos project. You can also export your project to a QDPX exchange file at any time, using the Export button.


There will be some caveats: obviously different software packages only support certain features, so projects from NVivo that has video and audio data cannot be shown in Quirkos, but the codes and text sources will come in. Likewise, NVivo only supports a small number of colours for codes, and won’t be  able to show all the colours used for Quirks in Quirkos. More details of the limitations can be found on the qdasoftware.org website, and the documentation of each of the software packages. However, most users will see most of the important stuff – sources, codes and codings come smoothly across.


Quirkos 2.1 also adds support for a new light-theme, which allows users to changes the colour scheme in Quirkos from the default dark background with white text, inverted so that there is a more conventional white background with black text. For some this is more visible and readable, although we find that for long sessions staring at the screen most users prefer a dark background. Well, you now have a choice! Just go into the Project Settings and change the toggle to light theme.


Once again, there this is a free update for all Quirkos 2 users, and is available now for Windows, Mac and Linux. Just download from www.quirkos.com/get.html and install over the old version. Your project files will not be altered, and you can just keep going with your work, and now share your coded data with people using other software packages! If you haven’t tried Quirkos before, you can bring your work in from other software, and try Quirkos for free with our full 4 week trial!



Tags : qualitative ,   software ,   standard ,   exchange ,   refi ,   qdpx