newspell : easy management of complex spell data
Title: newspell : easy management of complex spell data
Author: KRÖGER, Hannes
Citation: Stata journal, 2015, Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 155-172
ISSN: 1536-867X; 1536-8734
Biographical data gathered in surveys are often stored in spell format, allowing for overlaps between spell states. On the one hand, these kind of data provide useful information for researchers. On the other hand, the data structure is often complex and not easy to handle. The newspell program offers a solution to the problem of spell-data management with three important features. First, it can rank spells and cut off overlaps according to the rank order. Second, newspell can combine overlapping parts of spells into new categories of spells, generating entirely new states. Third, it can detect gaps in the spell data that are not yet coded. It also includes subcommands for the management of complex spell data. Spell states can be merged and filled in with information from adjacent spells, and the data can be transformed to long or wide format. The command can be used to clean data, to combine two spell-data sources that have information on different kinds of states, or to deal with spell data that are complex by survey design. newspell is useful for users who are not familiar with complex spell data and have little experience in Stata programming or data management. For experienced users, newspell saves a lot of time and coding work.
Grant number: FP7/313532
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