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The discourse of QDAS: reporting practices of ATLAS.ti and NVivo users with implications for best practices


Paulus, T and Woods, M and Atkins, D and Macklin, R, The discourse of QDAS: reporting practices of ATLAS.ti and NVivo users with implications for best practices, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 20, (1) pp. 35-47. ISSN 1364-5579 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis

DOI: doi:10.1080/13645579.2015.1102454


We still know relatively little about how researchers use qualitative data analysis software (QDAS) such as ATLAS.ti and NVivo. We conducted a discourse analysis of 763 empirical articles published from 1994 to 2013 that explored the language used by researchers when reporting QDAS use. We found that most researchers provided few details of their QDAS use beyond naming the program, but the detailed accounts provided by some authors provided valuable insights into the ways that QDAS programs can be used to support data analysis and the reporting of research outcomes. We conclude with suggestions for best practices in reporting QDAS use. We encourage researchers to provide more detail about their program usage, e.g. by choosing active rather than passive voice to avoid attributing agency to the software, defining specialized QDAS terminology to prevent confusion, and avoiding unsubstantiated claims of a relationship between QDAS use and improved quality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Research Field:Innovation management
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Communication not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Woods, M (Dr Megan Woods)
UTAS Author:Macklin, R (Dr Rob Macklin)
ID Code:105007
Year Published:2017 (online first 2015)
Web of Science® Times Cited:46
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2015-12-02
Last Modified:2017-11-20

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