Exchange projects between software: REFI-QDA

The REFI-QDA standard, which audiotranscription has participated in developing in recent years, enables the exchange of project data of qualitative research projects between QDA programmes such as f4analyse, Atlas.ti, MAXQDA, Nvivo, Quirkos and others. It is an open format that has already been implemented by many other QDA software.

f4analyse exports and imports the following as a “project

– All texts (without formatting)
– All codes and code colours
– All memos and comments
– All codes (except codes within their own written memos or comments)
– All groups and group comments

So, in simple terms, so far everything is exported except text formatting. When importing, everything is imported that f4analysis can also map due to its functionality. The typical exchange format is *.qdpx.

f4analyse exports and imports the following as a “codebook”

When exporting as a codebook, only the code system is exported or imported. Here, all code names, code colours and code comments as well as the hierarchical structure are passed on or taken over. The typical exchange format is *.qdc.


Please note!

Despite the harmonised REFI-QDA standard, not all QDA software developers have proceeded in the same way with the implementation. In addition, not all QDA programmes support the same functions. For example, no other QDA programme except f4analyse provides coding within memos. Therefore, these codes cannot be displayed in other programmes. On the other hand, f4analyse, for example, does not support variables and therefore will not import this information.

Please therefore always check and compare the different functions of the softwares when exchanging, as the exchange may involve loss of information despite the common format.

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