How to use qualitative analysis software (QDAS) for data management

  A research project is often a big logistical undertaking, qualitative or otherwise. Through literature reviews, developing research questions, grant applications and funding, ethics/IRBs, managing co-researchers and supervisors, recruitment, collecting data from respondents, research journals, analysing data and writing up findings, there are a myriad of steps. Each will generate their own documents, data and processes that need to be

Why we will release two versions of Quirkos next week

  Next week we will release Quirkos 2.0 on the 31st of October! It’s our first major update in 4 years, and will not only provide a number of major new features, but also sets the platform for a lot more new things to be added in the next few years.   Actually, next week we will be releasing two versions of Quirkos: 2.0, but also a final release for the 1.x series, version 1.6. This adds rich text support, all the bug fixes and

Quirkos 2 Scottish Homelands Tour

  In the run-up to the release of Quirkos 2.0, we are running a series of workshops in Glasgow, Stirling and Edinburgh in October.   These are all interactive bring a laptop sessions, where participants can bring their own laptops and data, or use example data sets and follow along. We'll show all the basics of creating projects, bringing in text data, creating and managing codes, and exploring and exporting coded data. They are all

Teaching qualitative analysis software with Quirkos

It’s a new academic year, and many professors, lecturers and TAs will be reviewing their course materials and slides for this semester and beyond. Those teaching qualitative methods will also be looking at how to teach qualitative analysis, and wondering about including software as part of that process. While qualitative analysis software is only one small part of the qualitative methods puzzle and journey, it can take a

The importance of the new qualitative data exchange standard

  Last week, a group of software developers from ATLAS.ti, f4analyse, Nvivo (QSR), Transana, QDA Miner (Provalis) and Quirkos were in Montreal for the third international meeting on the creation of a common file format for exchanging qualitative data projects. The initiative is also supported by Dedoose and MAXQDA, which means that all the major qualitative data analysis software (QDAS) providers have agreed to support a standard that will

Using qualitative analysis software for literature reviews

  You’ve probably heard of or even used a reference management software like EndNote, Mendeley or the free and open-source Zotero. However, while these tools are great for doing your references at the end of a project and integrating with Word or LibreOffice, there are still major advantages to using qualitative analysis software like Quirkos. This video will give you an overview of how to structure either a systematic or literature

7 unique things that make Quirkos awesome

Quirkos is now 3 years old! To celebrate, we’re taking a break from our regular programming of qualitative method posts to remind everyone why Quirkos is the best qualitative analysis software around...   1. All the colours! Obviously I’m going to start with the most important features first. Some qualitative analysis software restricts you to only 8 colours when customising your themes. Quirkos lets you choose from 16

Quirkos vs Nvivo: Differences and Similarities

I’m often asked ‘How does Quirkos compare to Nvivo?’. Nvivo is by far the largest player in the qualitative software field, and is the product most researchers are familiar with. So when looking at the alternatives like Quirkos (but also Dedoose, ATLAS.ti, MAXQDA, Transana and many others) people want to know what’s different!   In a nutshell, Quirkos has far fewer features than Nvivo, but wraps them up in an easier

Stepping back from coding software and reading qualitative data

There is a lot of concern that qualitative analysis software distances people from their data. Some say that it encourages reductive behaviour, prevents deep reading of the data, and leads to a very quantified type of qualitative analysis (eg Savin-Baden and Major 2013).   I generally don’t agree with these statements, and other qualitative bloggers such as Christina Silver and Kristi Jackson have written responses to critics of

Starting a qualitative research thesis, and choosing a CAQDAS package

  For those about to embark on a qualitative Masters or PhD thesis, we salute you!   More and more post-graduate students are using qualitative methods in their research projects, or adopting mixed-method data collection and using a small amount of qualitative data which needs to be combined with quantitative data. So this year, how can students decide the best approach for the analysis of their data, and can CAQDAS or QDA software

Reflections on qualitative software from KWALON 2016

Last week saw a wonderful conference held by the the Dutch network for qualitative research KWALON, based at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam. The theme was no less than the future of Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) software.   Chair Jeanine Evers opened the session by outlining 8 important themes the group had identified on qualitative analysis software.   The first was the challenge of adding features to software that is requested

Include qualitative analysis software in your qualitative courses this year

  A new term is just beginning, so many lecturers, professors and TAs are looking at their teaching schedule for the next year. Some will be creating new courses, or revising existing modules, wondering what to include and what’s new. So why not include qualitative analysis software (also known as CAQDAS or QDA software)?   There’s a common misconception that software for qualitative research takes too long to teach, and

Tips for managing mixed method and participant data in Quirkos and CAQDAS software

  Even if you are working with pure qualitative data, like interview transcripts, focus groups, diaries, research diaries or ethnography, you will probably also have some categorical data about your respondents. This might include demographic data, your own reflexive notes, context about the interview or circumstances around the data collection. This discrete or even quantitative data can be very useful in organising your data sources

Quirkos version 1.4 is here!

It’s been a long time coming, but the latest version of Quirkos is now available, and as always it’s a free update for everyone, released simultaneously on Mac, Windows and Linux with all the new goodies! The focus of this update has been speed. You won’t see a lot of visible differences in the software, but behind the scenes we have rewritten a lot of Quirkos to make sure it copes better with large qualitative sources and

Teaching qualitative analysis software with Quirkos

  When people first see Quirkos, we often hear them say “My students would love this!” The easy learning curve, the visual feedback and the ability to work on Windows or Mac appeal to students starting out in qualitative analysis. We have an increasing number of universities across the world using Quirkos to teach CAQDAS at both undergraduate and post graduate levels. I just wanted to give a quick overview of why this can be

What can CAQDAS do for you? The Five-Level QDA

  I briefly mentioned in my last blog post an interesting new article by Silver and Woolf (2015) on teaching QDA (Qualitative Data Analysis) and CAQDAS (Computer Assisted Qualitative Data AnalysiS). It’s a great article, not only because it draws from more than 20 years combined pedagogical experience, but suggests a new way to guide students through using software for qualitative analysis.   The basis of the strategy is the

The CAQDAS jigsaw: integrating with workflows

  I’m increasingly seeing qualitative research software as being the middle piece of a jigsaw puzzle that has three stages: collection, coding/exploring, and communication. These steps are not always clear cut, and generally there should be a fluid link between them. But the process, and enacting of these steps is often quite distinct, and the more I think about the ‘typical’ workflow for qualitative analysis, the more I