[R] read.spss warning: unrecognized record type??

Thomas Lumley tlumley at u.washington.edu
Fri Aug 27 16:30:39 CEST 2004

On Fri, 27 Aug 2004, Raphael Schneider wrote:

> On Friday 27 August 2004 02:55, Michael Jerosch-Herold wrote:
> > When using read.spss (library: 'foreign') I get the following warning
> > message:
> >
> > Warning message:
> > E:/R4win/mesamri.sav: Unrecognized record type 7, subtype 13
> > encountered in system file.
> >
> > I don't see anything wrong with record #7 in the database I am trying
> > to read in, but I suspect that the warning message does not refer to a
> > specific record, but a "variable" type. Is this correct? And what does
> > "subtype 13" mean?
> I get the same message but it seems that all data is read correctly. My
> impression is that this message shows up only reading datasets stored with
> SPSS12. At the moment I have no dataset where I know exactly this was stored
> using a SPSS version below 12.

I have had the same experience. Since the computer where I use read.spss
doesn't have any development tools on it I haven't got around to looking
at what is actually happening.

The difficulty with read.spss is that the format is not publically
documented (in fact, most of the formats read by foreign are not
documented or are incompletely or inaccurately documented -- Stata gets an
honorable mention as one of the exceptions). All read.spss can do is
ignore anything it doesn't understand, and check that the rest of the file
makes sense.


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