REFI-QDA Standard for project exchange

The REFI-QDA Standard allows project transfer between participating qualitative data analysis (QDA) programs. Projects can be exported from one program and opened in another, where they are converted into the receiving program's format.

Due to differences between programs (and because the standard is still in development) not all project items are transferred. Currently, the following NVivo items are supported:

  • Data (source) files
  • Nodes
  • Cases
  • Coding (with some exceptions, see below)
  • Classifications
  • Memos
  • Memo links
  • Sets (with exceptions, see below)
  • Annotations (with exceptions, see below)

See Limitations, below, for item types not transferred.

Depending on the program you are working in, projects are exported as a single QDPX file (containing the project data files) or as a QDPX file and a folder for the data files. NVivo exports a single QDPX file that contains the data files.

Export a QDPX file from NVivo

  1. On the Share tab, in the Project group, click Export Project.
  2. Select REFI-QDA Project.
  3. Browse to the location you want to save the QDPX file.
  4. Click OK.

Open and convert a QDPX file in NVivo

  1. Click the File tab, click Open, and then click Browse.
  2. In the file-type drop-down list in the bottom-right of the dialog box, select REFI-QDA Project (*qdpx, *qde).
  3. Locate and select the QDPX file for the project you want to open. (A QDE file, if available, opens all elements of a project except the data files).
  4. Click Open. The Convert Project dialog box opens.
  5. Click Browse then choose where you want to save the converted project.
  6. Select Import node colors to keep node colors that were set in the original project.
  7. If the project's data files are in a folder outside the QDPX file, click Browse to specify the location of the folder.
  8. Click Convert.


The following items are not currently transferred in QDPX files.