Showcasing the UK Quali Bank: online browsing system for qualitative data

11 December 2013

This webinar will introduce you to the new qualitative data browsing system of the UK Data Service, based on robust XML metadata.

The Digital Futures project, sponsored by the ESRC has enabled us to create a system that utilises the XML schema QuDEx, developed with the explicit purpose of complementing the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) for social science study and survey-based description.

We will introduce our implementation of QuDEx, and show - very practically - what metadata we use to describe, search and view qualitative files and their relationship to each other within a collection.

We have developed a basic metadata entry tool for describing objects (mostly interview files, some images) in each collection and have agreed on a simple Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) template for producing textual transcripts. These are being stored in BaseX, an XML database. This has been a learning curve for us, as typically we work with relational databases here at the Archive.

The beauty of QuDEx is in its rich descriptive capabilities, enabling relationships to be created between files, parts of files and annotations. For example, links between an interview transcript, its audio recording, a text excerpt and a related code and memo can be made explicit.

We have built the qualitative data browsing system using our existing .NET technology and infrastructure used for our UK Data Service Discovery portal. We have six test collections so far, comprising in-depth interview transcripts, open-ended survey questions, annotated questionnaires in PDF format and images.

What is so critical about this work is that is that our use of QuDEx is quite simple even if you don’t quite get XML schema! As PI of this project, Louise Corti invites you to come and find out more about this really exciting development! Her technical colleagues Darren Bell at the UK Data Archive and Agustina Martinez at Liverpool John Moore’s will be on hand to answer any more technical questions.

Webinar recording


Our response to queries may be slower than usual during planned strike action on the following dates: February 22, 23, 26-28 and March 5–8, 12-16.

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