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Using Software in Qualitative Research

Using Software in Qualitative Research
A Step-by-Step Guide

Second Edition
  • Christina Silver - University of Surrey, UK, Qualitative Data Analysis Services, UK
  • Ann Lewins - Qualitative Data Analysis Services (QDAS)
Additional resources:

May 2014 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Using Software in Qualitative Research is an essential introduction to the practice and principles of Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS). The book will help you to choose the most appropriate package for your needs and get the most out of the software once you are using it.

This book considers a wide range of tasks and processes in the data management and analysis process, and shows how software can help you at each stage. In the new edition, the authors present three case studies with different forms of data (text, video and mixed data) and show how each step in the analysis process for each project could be supported by software.

The new edition is accompanied by an extensive companion website with step-by-step instructions produced by the software developers themselves. Software programmes covered in second edition include the latest versions of:

  • ATLAS.ti
  • NVivo
  • QDA Miner
Ann Lewins and Christina Silver are leading experts in the field of CAQDAS and have trained thousands of students and researchers in using software. Reading this book is like having Ann and Christina at your shoulder as you analyse your data!
Qualitative Data Analysis and CAQDAS
The Nature of Software Support for Research Projects
Software Summaries
Data and Their Preparation for CAQDAS Packages
Early Steps in Software: Practical Tasks and Familiarisation
Exploration and Data-level Work
Qualitative Coding in Software: Principles and Processes
Basic Retrieval of Coded Data
Working with Coding Schemes
Managing Processes and Interpretations by Writing
Mapping Ideas and Linking Concepts
Organising Data by Known Characteristics
Interrogating the Dataset
Convergence, Closeness, Choice


Click for online resources

Free resources on the companion website:

  • Case study sample data
  • Step-by-step software guides for ATLAS.ti, Dedoose, HyperRESEARCH, MAXQDA, NVivo, QDA miner and Transana 
  • Illustrations from the book  

The book offers a good overview of different QDA-tools and a detailed description of the specific possibilities of each presented tool and how to use it. I recommended this book to give students the possibility to widen their knowledge about different QDA-tools and to find the one that fits best their individual research especially having their upcoming mastertheses in mind.

Mr Christoph Stamann
Fach Erziehungswissenschaft, Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten
October 6, 2015

Okay for what its purpose is but limited for Dedoose.

Mrs Brenda Robertson
Business Administration , Moray College
June 8, 2015

A useful resource for students who are undertaking qualitative research. It is clearly set out with many useful examples.

Ms Jane Harris
Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Universtity of Chester
May 19, 2015

I recommend this publication to my students for several reasons: It is well structured, firstly introducing general issues and ideas of using software in qualitative research processes, subsequently focusing on concrete data to illustrate the respective potential of the presented CAQDAS programs. Being provided with example material from the companion website helps acquiring a basic understanding of these software programs by self-studying. I really appreciate the third chapter which – giving the reader a short overview about several programs – serves as helpful starting point for your own decision making process, whether you want to use software packages or not and if so which package may fit individual or project specific needs best. Having worked with MAXQDA for several years now, I feel the potentials of MAXQDA well represented in this book.

Mr Christoph Stamann
Fach Erziehungswissenschaft, Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten
May 11, 2015

Very helpful for qualitative research and analysis

Dr Anshuman Sharma
International Business Administration, College of Applied Sciences, Ministry of Higher Education
April 6, 2015

An excellent supporting text

Mrs Ann Robinson
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Surrey University
June 3, 2016

This is an excellent textbook providing an in-depth orientation to and working with CAQDAS.

Dr Susanne Kean
School of Health in Social Science, College Of Medicine & Vet Medicine
March 20, 2015

A useful book covering essential tools for qualitative research, very useful for students completing their own qualitative research.

Mr David Rawcliffe
Pre-Registration Nursing, Bucks New University
March 9, 2015

Very interesting and very detailled description of the matter. Was very good received by the stundents.

Mr Yannick Kalff
Department of Business Administration, Ernst-Abbe-University of Applied Sciences
February 25, 2015

There is a lot of good content in this book, but it is poorly ordered. The book shows how three different qualitative research software packages can be used. The problem is, the content is separated by functions, not packages, hence a single page mught feature three explanations of one function. If you are using one package alone, exactly one third of this book will be relevant. This book is better used as a side-by-side evaluation of the most popular qualitative data analysis software available. Used as a guide to one package, it will be less effective. It will help researchers at the outset of their qualitative project decide which package is best for their purposes. Also, because software versions change so frequently, this book loses value as time passes.

Mr Kenneth Wilkinson
Dept of Marketing, Ops & Digital Busin, Manchester Metropolitan University
January 5, 2015

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ISBN: 9781446249734
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