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Revised module – parseuas – available from SSC

Categories: GESIS-News

We are pleased to announce that the revised version 1.4 of our module – parseuas – is now available for download from SSC.

The parseuas module extracts detailed information from user agent strings. The user agent is software that acts as interface to the user, for example a web browser. The client software sending the request to a server is identified in a user agent header field. The header contains the user agent string. In general, user agent strings include information on the browser name, the browser version, the device type, and the operating system. The parseuas module displays and optionally stores this information in new variables as specified by the user. For more details regarding user agent strings and how parseuas extracts information we refer to Roßmann, Gummer, & Kaczmirek (2020).

The revised version 1.4 features a fix for Opera browsers and identification of some newer or previously unrecognized browsers such as Samsung Internet Browser, Vivaldi, or Yandex.

One important area of application of the parseuas module is web surveys in which user agent strings are commonly collected as paradata. For example, the parseuas command can be used to determine whether respondents used a smartphone, a tablet or a personal computer to answer the questions in a web survey. It also allows distinguishing between several types and versions of operating systems and web browsers.

The parseuas module should be installed from within Stata by typing "ssc install parseuas" or updated using the “ado update, update” command. It requires Stata version 12.1 or higher.