Implementing QuDEx metadata for the Digital Futures project

In April we began testing the UK Data Archive’s qualitative XML metadata schema, QuDEx, using a number of test data collections. QuDEx is designed to work with the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) and enables powerful markup of data at the object and sub-object level.  In addition to rich descriptive capabilities, the strength of QuDEx is also enabling relationships to be created between files, parts of files and annotations, so, for example, between an interview transcript, its audio recording, a text excerpt and a related code and memo. A webinar presentation on our use of QuDEx was given to a number of European archives in June 13. Thanks to my technical colleagues, Darren Bell at the UK Data Archive and Agustina Martinez at Liverpool John Moore’s for contributing to this.

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.

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

We will be holding another webinar in late October/November to showcase the beta Digital Futures system. Come and find out more there!

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