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Data Management for the Humanities

Data-Level Overview

Data documentation can be embedded in data, such as variable and code descriptions in databases or headers in a interview transcript. Alternatively, information about data items can be recorded in a structured document.

Documenting data at the data level includes:

  • names, labels and descriptions for variables, records and their values
  • explanation of codes and classification schemes used
  • codes of, and reasons for, missing values
  • derived data created after collection, with code, algorithm or command file used to create them
  • weighting and grossing variables created and how they should be used
  • data list describing cases, individuals or items studied, for example for logging qualitative interviews

Adapted from UK Data Archive

Embedding metadata in an SPSS file

Embedding metadata in an MS Access database

Embedding metadata in an MS Excel spreadsheet