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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  

This is a fantastic resource book for engaging in using QDA software that is not bound to one programme but shows their continuities. Excellent companion site and resources make it an ideal teaching book too. May yet become "essential for purchase"

Mr Steven Wright
Division for Health Research, Lancaster University
December 18, 2014

The volume offers a comprehensive introduction to software use in qualitative research. By its clear didactic build-up it guides both, the adavanced student, who works on his/her own and is in need of support in his/her step-by-step data analysis and likewise the experienced researcher, who is familiar with 'by-hand' data analysis and is now surprised by the systematic support CAQDAS approaches can offer alternatively to meaningful data analysis.
The volume opens perspectives from first steps into software supported research projects to coping principles to systematic approaches to working with coding schemes. Parallel and linked to this various software tools comprised in CAQDAS packages are presented and comparatively discussed.
The volume is highly recommended!

Professor Sabine Troeger, Dr.
Geography Institute - Library, University of Bonn
November 25, 2014

Good to have a clear, concise text on qualitative research.

Mrs Evelyn Dolby
Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire
October 10, 2014

This second edition is much improved in that the material very specific to the software (which dates readily) has been removed to a website. The text is simplified to a slightly more general level without losing its essence as a step-by-step guide to using software for qualitative data analysis. Anne Lewins has worked in this area for many years and I cannot think of a better person to author such a book.

Professor Brian Taylor
Social Work , University of Ulster
October 3, 2014

Practical, sound advice. Essential reading for those undertaking qualitative research

Miss Christine Hibbert
Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University
August 27, 2014

This is a very useful text for anyone using computer software in their research. The authors have written a detailed account of the types of qualitative research, and the functions of software to aid with this. It is a good practical guidebook for newcomers to CAQDAS and research students, as well as an essential reference text for more experienced qualitative researchers.

Dr Helen Liebling
Lecturer-Practitioner in Clinical Psychology
Coventry and Warwick Universities

Dr Helen Liebling
Department of Clinical Psychology, Coventry University
August 26, 2014

Qualitative research is a strong element of the research projects conducted by WBL students and this book will introduce them to the consideration of using software to conduct their qualitative research.

Ms Marilia Angove
Faculty of Business & Society - Business School, University of South Wales
August 13, 2014

This text provides a good introduction of using CAQDAS in qualitative research. There is some good chapters on coding as well as summaries of different CAQDAS packages.

Mr Sebastin Stevens
Faculty of Social Science and Business, University of Plymouth
August 10, 2014

A useful detailed text for those professional doctorate students who choose to use software in qualitative research. At first I thought the attempt to incorporate coverage of a number of packages in a single text would be confusing, but this has proved not to be the case so far.

Dr Tony Cline
Educational Psychology Group, University College London
August 6, 2014

Good introduction to using software applications in assessing qualitative data

Mr Mark Barnett
Business Management and IT, Weston College
August 3, 2014

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