Electronic Resources for Research Methods
Qualitative research methods
- Bowen, Kathryn A. (1996) The sin of omission - punishable by death to internal validity: an argument for integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods to strengthen internal validity. Ithaca, NY; Cornell University, Department of Policy Analysis and Management. Retrieved 3rd August, 2008 from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/Gallery/Bowen/hss691.htm. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5ZpE08uqR
"This WEB site will examine the merits of integrating Qualitative and Quantitative research methodologies in the form of Triangulation, in order to strengthen the Internal Validity of social scientists research. " A PhD student's paper.
- Calloway, Linda Jo & Knapp, Constance A.(n.d.) Using grounded theory to interpret interviews. New York, NY: Pace University, School of Computer Science and Information Systems.
"This paper compares two studies that employ grounded theory to investigate information systems development tools. These tools facilitate information systems analysis, design, development and maintenance activities in ways that improve productivity. Tools that may improve productivity are those that use automation to affect the timing, cost and quality of products and services delivered by the information systems function."
- Catterall, M. & Maclaran, P. (1997) Focus group data and qualitative analysis programs: coding the moving picture as well as the snapshots. Sociological Research Online, vol. 2, no. 1 [Sociological Research Online is published jointly by the Universities of Surrey and Stirling, Sage Publications Ltd. and the British Sociological
"Most qualitative data analysis programs include a code and retrieve function. We argue that on-screen coding and the retrieval of coded segments, or snapshots, can result in researchers missing important process elements in focus group data, the moving picture. We review the literature on the analysis of focus group data and conclude that the focus group is not simply a data gathering technique where data collected are analyzed for their specific content such as all text relating to a particular theme. Important and potentially insightful communication and learning processes occur in focus groups as a result of participant interaction. These processes in the data can only be identified by several readings of the whole transcript and tracing an individual's text in the context of other participants' text; this is difficult to effect on-screen. Thus, we recommend that transcripts are coded on-screen for content and off-screen for process."
- Coffey, A., B. Holbrook & P. Atkinson (1996) Qualitative data analysis: technologies and representations. Sociological Research Online, vol. 1, no. 1
"In this paper we address a number of contemporary themes concerning the analysis of qualitative data and the ethnographic representation of social realities. A contrast is drawn. On the one hand, a diversity of representational modes and devices is currently celebrated, in response to various critiques of conventional ethnographic representation. On the other hand, the widespread influence of computer- assisted qualitative data analysis is promoting convergence on a uniform mode of data analysis and representation (often justified with reference to grounded theory). We note the ironic contrast between these two tendencies, the heterodox and the orthodox, in contemporary qualitative research. We go on to suggest that there exist alternatives that reflect both the diversity of representational approaches, and the broader possibilities of contemporary computing. We identify the technical and intellectual possibilities of hypertext software as offering just one such synthesis."
- ESRC Qualitative Data Archival Resource Centre. (2000) QUALIDATA Colchester: University of Essex, ESRC Qualitative Data Archival Resource Centre.
"QUALIDATA is not an archive itself: it is an action unit. Its aims are to: locate, assess and document qualitative data and arrange for their deposit in suitable public archives; to disseminate information about such data; and to encourage the re-use of these data. ESRC have recently implemented a policy to ensure that qualitative data produced by ESRC are always offered for archiving. Those applying to ESRC for research grants since 1996 will have noticed the inclusion of questions relating to plans for preparing and archiving any qualitative data they produce. Other research sponsors have followed these steps, and the Wellcome Trust, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation are referring new grant holders to Qualidata for advice on archival strategies for the data they will generate. "
- Fielding, Nigel (1993) Analysing qualitative data by computer, in: Social Research Update, 1. [Published quarterly by University of Surrey, Department of Sociology]
A brief review of available software packages.
- Heaton, Janet (1998) Secondary analysis of qualitative data. Social Research Update, No. 22
"This Update outlines some of the forms that secondary analysis of qualitative data can take, the key methodological and ethical issues that arise, and how the approach might be further developed.
- Kelle, U. (1997) Theory building in qualitative research and computer programs for the management of textual data. Sociological Research Online, vol. 2, no. 2 [...published jointly by the Universities of Surrey and Stirling, Sage Publications Ltd. and the British Sociological Association.]
"This article refers to recent debates about the potential methodological costs and benefits of computer use in qualitative research and about the relationship between methodological approaches (eg. 'Grounded Theory') on the one hand and computer-aided methods of qualitative research on the other. It is argued that the connection between certain computer-aided strategies and methodological approaches is far more loose than is often assumed. Furthermore, the danger of methodological biases and distortion arising from the use of certain software packages is overemphasized in current discussions, as far as basic tasks of textual data management ('coding and retrieval') usually performed by this software are concerned. However, with the development of more advanced and complex coding and retrieval
techniques, which are regarded by some authors as tools for 'theory building' in qualitative research, methodological confusion may arise if basic prerequisites of qualitative theory building are not taken into consideration. Therefore, certain aspects of qualitative theory building which are relevant for computer aided methods of textual data management are discussed in the paper."
- Lomax, H. & Casey, N. (1998) Recording social life: reflexivity and video methodology. Sociological Research Online, vol. 3, no. 2
"The degree to which researcher generated visual records (for example video texts) may be used to collect valid information about the social world is subject to considerable academic debate.... On the one hand the method is assumed, by implication, to have limited impact on the data, the taped image being treated as a replica of the unrecorded event .... On the other, it is suggested that the video camera has a uniquely distorting effect on the researched phenomenon.... Research participants, it is argued, demonstrate a reactive effect to the video process such that data is meaningful only if special precautions are taken to validate it. Strategies suggested include a covert approach to the data collection itself... or the application of triangulative techniques such as respondent validation.... In this paper we suggest that both these views are problematic. The insistence of one on marginalising the role of the research process and the other on attempting to separate the process from the research data is at the expense of exploring the degree to which the process helps socially and interactionally produce the data. As we demonstrate, the activity of data collection is constitutive of the very interaction which is then subsequently available for investigation. A reflexive analysis of this relationship is therefore essential. Video generated data is an ideal resource in as far as it can provide a faithful record of the process as an aspect of the naturally occurring interaction which comprises the research topic."
- Peters, Vincent (n.d.) KWALITAN: a support program for the analysis of qualitative data. Nijmegen: University of Nijmegen, Department of Research Methodology [Distributor: iec ProGamma, P.O. Box 841, 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands]
"Kwalitan is a menu driven program for the personal computer, supporting the researcher at the analysis of qualitative data, such as the protocols of interviews and observations, or existing written material, such as articles from newspapers, annual reports of enterprises, ancient manuscripts, and so on. In fact, Kwalitan is a special purpose database program.
The program has been developed in accordance with the narrowly elaborated procedures of the so called grounded theory approach, in which the researcher tries to generate a theoretical framework by means of an interpretative analysis of the qualitative material. The program can also be used in situations in which the researcher already has a theoretical framework and an elaborate list of codes. "
- Qualis Research Associates. (1998) The Ethnograph v5.0. Salt Lake City: UT: Qualis Research Associates.
"The Ethnograph v5.0 for Windows PCs is a versatile computer program designed to make the analysis of data collected during qualitative research easier, more efficient, and more effective.
You can import your text-based qualitative data, typed in any word processor, straight into the program. The Ethnograph helps you search and note segments of interest within your data, mark them with code words and run analyses which can be retrieved for inclusion in reports or further analysis.
First launched in 1985, The Ethnograph was one of the first programs to pioneer computer assisted qualitative data analysis. Since then The Ethnograph has continued to be developed by qualitative data analysts for qualitative data analysts such as social scientists, historians, literary critics, health researchers, business and market analysts, legal researchers and others."
- QSR International Pty. Ltd. (2007) NVivo Melbourne, VIC: Qualitative Solutions and Research Pty. Ltd.
"If you need to handle very rich information, where deep levels of analysis on both small and large volumes of data are required, NVivo 8 is your solution. It removes many of the manual tasks associated with analysis, like classifying, sorting and arranging information, so you have more time to explore trends, build and test theories and ultimately arrive at answers to questions."
- ResearchWare, Inc. HyperRESEARCH 2.5
Randolph, MA: ResearchWare, Inc.
"Available in Macintosh® and PC formats, HyperRESEARCH 2.0 enables you to code and retrieve, build theories, and conduct analyses of your data. Now with advanced multimedia capabilities, HyperRESEARCH allows you to work with text, graphics, audio, and video sources — making it an invaluable research analysis tool.
HyperRESEARCH is a solid code-and-retrieve data analysis program, with additional theory building features provided by the Hypothesis Tester."
- Scientific Software Development (2000) Atlas.ti: the knowledge workbench. Berlin: Scientific Software Development
"ATLAS.ti is a powerful workbench for the qualitative analysis of large bodies of textual, graphical, audio and video data.
It offers a variety of tools for accomplishing the tasks associated with any systematic approach to "soft" data, e.g., material which cannot be analyzed by formal, statistical approaches in meaningful ways.
In the course of such a qualitative analysis ATLAS.ti helps you to uncover the complex phenomens hidden in your data in an exploratory way. For coping with the inherent complexity of the tasks and the data, ATLAS.ti offers a powerful and intuitive environment that keeps you focused on the analyzed materials."
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