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Transcripts of Selected Group Discussions on CYC-Net

Since it's founding in 1997, the CYC-Net discussion group has been asked thousands of questions. These questions often generate many replies from people in all spheres of the Child and Youth Care profession and contain personal experiences, viewpoints, as well as recommended resources.

Below are some of the threads of discussions on varying Child and Youth Care related topics.

Questions and Responses have been reproduced verbatim.

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Qualitative analysis software

I am interested in software programs which are used to analyze text transcripts in a qualitative research project – looking for themes, patterns, etc.

I would appreciate any 'reviews' of software based on researchers' experiences.

In other words, I need a qualitative research software analysis program and would appreciate any suggestions anyone can make based on their experiences with it.

Thom Garfat

Hi Thom
I used the Nud*ist software programme with a focus group study with service providers in diversion programmes for youth. It was user friendly and did not take up too much space on my computer. You also keep control over the categories if you need to rearrange as the study progresses. I know there are others, but I've not used them.

All the best
Rika Swanzen
South Africa

Hello Thom,

I just used NVivo 9 for a class qualitative paper to create codes and interpret my results. I was very happy with my final paper and the versatility of the software. Although the "help" feature on the software was somewhat unhelpful, there were many web-postings that provided me with the information I needed. When I signed up for the free trial I was also invited to a free seminar to learn the basics. It took me about 6 hours to be able to manipulate the software fairly effectively and I could see the benefits of using this software to analyze a variety of data. My favorite feature was the abliity to compare videos, pictures and text in a reliable manner! I was able to code quickly and effectively, and it was easy to code portions in more than one category (something I desired). I am planning on using this software for my master's thesis.

Unfortunately, the NVivo9 charts and other pictorial information 'cut and paste' rather poorly. I think having Adobe or another PDF program would help this transfer. I could also transfer the data to excel and create charts and graphs.

I am sending you the paper I did so you can get a quick preview of what I was able to produce within a few hours. I handed a CD in with the paper that showed all the coding on NVivo. Four other students in my class used this software as well, although I can't speak to their experience.

Hope this information helps,

Sheila Porteous

Hi Thom

Suggest you have a look at NVIVO 8 (or (or may now be V9) from QSR Software in Aus. Also this book – Lewins, A., & Silver, C. (2007). Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide. Los Angeles London New Delhi Singapore SAGE – provides excellent coverage of three different software packages including NVIVO. Lots of screen shots and worked examples. I have a limited knowledge of NVIVO (that is not an understatement or modesty!). I found it reasonably intuitive. Unfortunately I did not continue with the research project that I was working on so did not get past the intro stage of the programme – but I like it! It is flexible and can be used for lit reviews.

The programme allows import of PDF and many other documents. Segments of text can be coded and then pulled together into themes. Thus you might have coded sections in documents within the programme under e.g. "relational" these can then be pulled into a file for further work / analysis. You can also code for external documents like books or journals. You can also import video and recordings.

(Still in Ireland)

Hi Thom:

Have you considered ?

Here are some listings that I go to now and then:


Rey Carr

Hi Thom,

I used Atlas.ti for my doctoral research and I found it excellent. It was intuitive to learn and use, and has lots of features. My research was a very large document analysis (including interview transcripts, letters, submissions, and research findings) and it was great. I've also used it for smaller projects (such as analysis the responses to open questions in surveys. You can download a demo and try it out.

Stewart Redshaw

Hi Thom,

Try NVivo. I used it on my dissertation and found it an excellent tool.

Max Smart

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