I just had a requirement in the project I'm working on to get a data contract name and namespace from a type and found that there really isn't an easy, built in way to do it (Without actually serializing an instance of the type). After looking around with reflector I found the methods that the DataContractSerializer uses but found it was a little too complex and dangerous to try to strip the code from the framework or write my own (Especially when it comes to formulating generic type names). So I found a simple alterative which I don't really like but it works. Basically you instantiate the type in question and run it through the serializer and grab the root element name and namespace:

public class DataContractTypeInfo
    public DataContractTypeInfo()
        Name = string.Empty;
        TypeNamespace = string.Empty;

    private DataContractTypeInfo(string name, string typeNamespace)
        Name = name;
        TypeNamespace = typeNamespace;

    public string Name { get; private set; }
    public string TypeNamespace { get; private set; }

    public static DataContractTypeInfo Generate(Type type)
        if (type.FullName.StartsWith("System.")) return new DataContractTypeInfo();
        if (type.ContainsGenericParameters) return new DataContractTypeInfo();
        DataContractSerializer serializer = new DataContractSerializer(type);
        MemoryStream objectStream = new MemoryStream();
        object instance = null;
        if (type.IsArray)
            Activator.CreateInstance(type, new object[] {0});
        serializer.WriteObject(objectStream, instance);
        objectStream.Position = 0;
        XDocument objectDocument = XDocument.Load(new XmlTextReader(objectStream));
        return new DataContractTypeInfo(objectDocument.Root.Name.LocalName,

This code took about 20 ms to get the info of a type that had about 5 members.