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Qualitative Research


If you have questions about qualitative research design, data collection, or strategies for analysis, please contact the Odum Institute expert in qualitative research, Paul Mihas. Paul can help you through any of the stages of your project, including the early stages of your proposal writing. He can also provide resources or guidance for researchers who conduct ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory, or pragmatic qualitative research.

The Odum Institute provides specialized computer programs QSR NVivo, ATLAS.ti, and MAXQDA for qualitative and mixed methods analysis, as well as training and consultation in their use and technical support for Dedoose. Odum offers short courses on these qualitative analysis programs. Please see the current Institute short course schedule or contact Paul to arrange a customized presentation to graduate or undergraduate classes or other special audiences.


QRS NVivo is a software program for coding and analyzing textual and multimedia data. It also allows researchers to construct diagrams (“mind maps” and “concept maps”) of codes and transcripts and automatically generates comparison diagrams to assess differences between codes or transcripts. Its analytical strengths include cluster analysis of transcripts and codes as well as multidimensional matrix analysis of codes and other data categories for theory building and deeper inquiry. Intercoder reliability features are also available.


ATLAS.ti, a program for analyzing textual and multimedia data, allows users to analyze data based on codes and analytical memos. The software also allows users to create diagrams of transcripts, quotations, memos, and codes and to create links between these “objects” in diagrams. The query tool lets users ask complex questions of their data, including Boolean searches or queries based on demographics. A coding comparison chart allows researchers to review a table of conceptual intersections. Intercoder reliability tools are available by using the Coding Analysis Toolkit, a free software utility, alongside ATLAS.


MAXQDA is a qualitative analysis software package that helps researchers code textual, audio, or video data and analyze coded segments. The software also allows users to merge qualitative and quantitative analysis by exporting and importing variables to and from SPSS and Excel. A memo-writing feature allows users to add reflective writing to their analytic process. A content analysis feature allows researchers to create a special dictionary of keywords. Intercoder reliability features are also available.


Dedoose is a web-based application for analyzing qualitative and mixed methods research with text, images, audio, videos, and spreadsheet data. The program provides numerous user-friendly charts for making sense of qualitative and mixed methods studies.