Software and method: reflections on teaching and using QSR NVivo in doctoral research

Johnston, L. (2006) Software and method: reflections on teaching and using QSR NVivo in doctoral research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 9(5), pp. 379-391. (doi: 10.1080/13645570600659433)

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This reflective paper draws on a range of experiences developed over the last 11 years regarding the way in which qualitative data analysis (QDA) software (QSR NUD∗IST and NVivo) is taught and used within doctoral research. The existing separation of qualitative methods training from QDA software training can result in disconnected technical and methodological learning curves. This can cause a number of problems for doctoral students because a ‘methods revolution’ is being experienced and current students are not necessarily exposed to the support they require via the methods literature, their postgraduate training programme or their supervisor. Three key influences on the use of QDA software are discussed within the context of teaching and learning QSR NVivo: the increased popularity of QDA software amongst those from traditionally positivistic backgrounds; the promise of improved levels of transparency; and the reliance upon the free tutorials, which are distributed with the software, to learn qualitative research methods as well as software processes. Implications for doctoral students, supervisors and examiners are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnston, Dr Lynne
Authors: Johnston, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:International Journal of Social Research Methodology
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1464-5300
Published Online:11 December 2006

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