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NVivo

Texas State University-San Marcos has a site license (faculty and staff) for the qualitative software, NVivo 10. To obtain a license, email Dr. Gail Ryser with the following information: your full name and title, your department, and your net ID. In order to download NVivo, you must be connected to the Texas State domain. Training is self-paced and consists of two pdfs, “Getting Started with NVivo 9” and “Advanced Topics NVivo 9.” Users will be given access to both pdfs when they request a license. In addition, we have included the following links to other sources for NVivo support:

NVivo 9 Getting Started Guide (will update soon)

NVivo FAQs

Short NVivo How to Videos

NVivo Resource Articles

QSR NVivo Forums

NVivo Facebook Forums

NVivo Linked In Resources

NVivo is a Windows program (there is no MacIntosh OS version). To run NVivo on your MacIntosh, you will need to install Windows on your MacIntosh which involves partitioning the hard drive (unless you want your MacIntosh to be entirely PC). Before you partition your hard drive, back up your files to an external hard drive. You may want to take your computer to an Apple store and work with a MacIntosh genius to get it partitioned.

What is NVivo?

When something is done in vivo it means it’s done in real life as opposed to in vitro, which means in a laboratory. NVivo is a qualitative program, which allows the user to handle rich information, where in-depth analyses on both small and large volumes of data are required. It also removes many of the manual tasks associated with qualitative analysis, like classifying, sorting and arranging information, so you have more time to explore trends, test theories and arrive at answers to questions. This software is designed to support a wide range of research methods, including grounded theory, ethnography, phenomenology and discourse analysis. Over 400,000 users in over 150 countries are now licensed to use QSR software, the company that distributes NVivo!

NVivo can help you:

  1. Manage your data by putting it into folders. NVivo can import word docs, PDF’s, audio, video and picture files.
  2. Code data to come up with your themes and findings.
  3. Search through your data using queries.
  4. Examine your data visually using models and charts.

Tips for new users:

  1. Know your own data and have a detailed research plan.  Have a conceptualization of what you want to do BEFORE bringing NVivo into the picture.
  2. Play with the software when you are not under the pressures of a deadline, so you feel free to explore and take chances with new tools and concepts.  Play with datasets that you have PREVIOUSLY analyzed.
  3. Trust your own researcher intuition over relying on the software’s many options.
  4. Read (and keep on reading) professional literature of qualitative analysis and on methodological tools like NVivo.

Before you start:

  1. Prepare your dataIf you have structured documents—such as interviews where participants are all asked the same set of questions—format them in consistent paragraph styles to support auto coding. You can do the formatting in Microsoft Word before you import. When working with audio, video or picture data, consider any editing requirements before import.  For example, if you have hours of video footage, you may want to edit it down to a manageable size—you cannot do this editing in NVivo.  If you have many large videos, you can choose to store them outside the project so that software performance is not compromised. Think about whether you will require transcripts for your audio and video sources. They can be imported in .doc, .rtf or .txt format or you can transcribe the media directly in NVivo. You can code directly in an audio/video or you can code the transcript.

  2. Prepare for teamworkConsider possible approaches. Team members can work on different data sources or bring unique perspectives to the same sources—either way, you can easily merge the contributions made by all collaborators. Each team member can work in their own project file or you can share a single project with other colleagues.  ***Note that a project file can only be accessed by one person at a time.***Where coding consistency is important, agree on a node structure early & have regular discussions about how the structure is evolving. Use the Coding Comparison Query to regularly check for consistency between coders. Give each team member a unique user profile—they are prompted to enter this when they first launch NVivo. This way you can track the updates and coding done by members of your team.

  3. Gather your ideasMake a project journal in NVivo. Use it to record your early goals, assumptions, theories and challenges. Keep track of your project as it evolves. Use your NVivo project as a central place to store all preliminary materials such as client briefs, literature notes, grant applications, participant release forms or thesis proposals. Create a model in NVivo to capture and visualize your theories or to aid your research design. If you have a research design, set up the sources, cases, and nodes to support it.