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st: Reading and writing Stata data files

From   Normand Peladeau <>
Subject   st: Reading and writing Stata data files
Date   Thu, 19 Aug 2010 09:34:28 -0400

We developed a text mining application an another one for qualitative analysis (manual coding and annotation) of documents. Many people use our tools and then export their data to a statistical software to perform further analysis. We already export to several file formats including SPSS, Excel, Tab delimited and comma delimited files, as well as a few others. We also import data from all these formats.

Since many of our users are using Stata, I thought it would be convenient to be able at least to write Stata data files or files that could at least be processed with Stata easily. Being able to read Stata data files would also be great (we merge numerical data with the documents in a single database).

SPSS has a special DLL that may be used by programmers to read and write SPSS .sav files. Is there such a programming library for Stata files? If not, is the format of the Stata data file documented somewhere?

If none of the above resources exists, I assume that we could write some text files with data and importation routines. What would be the most convenient way to do this for a Stata user?

Normand Péladeau
Provalis Research

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