By Karla de Lima Guedes | iPhD Web Science Student

Thanks to the Web Science CDT training fund, I had the opportunity to attend two National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) training courses: (1) Introduction to NVivo in March/21 and (2) Analysing Literature and Documents with NVivo in April/21. Both courses were held online via Zoom and taught by Dr Sarah Bulloch (second also by Dr Christina Silve) from the Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) Networking Project and University of Surrey. For the ones unfamiliar with NVivo, it is a qualitative data analysis (QDA) computer software which (mainly) helps researchers to organise and analyse unstructured or qualitative data (more functions are presented below).

This first course was a two-day hands on workshop that aimed at providing the participants with an overview of NVivo, e.g. software interface, architecture, and tools, and how it can be used throughout a research project. The second was a two-afternoon workshop that focused on showing the participants how to review literature and analyse documents efficiently and systematically with NVivo in our one-day. The latter course showed me that NVivo is a more than qualitative data analysis computer software but also a project management tool with a large number of functions that can help me to organise my literature review and write the different thesis chapters.

Attending these two courses was a fantastic training opportunity for me because they gave me the opportunity to think about how to organise my data prior to analysis, practise using some of the basic software functions, reflect on how I organise what I am reading and writing, and undertake NVivo tasks using a sample data set. We were encouraged to bring our own research materials to work with on day two of this first course but as this took place before my qualitative data collection, I worked with the data provided by the presenter.

Because I will be collecting data through interviews this year, I needed to better understand how to organise and analyse rich qualitative data. And thanks to these two courses, I now feel more confident about dealing with my data analysis and organising my reading and writing from now onwards. I’m grateful to my Web Science CDT for supporting me through the training fund, and I look forward to incorporating what I learnt from the workshop into my writing. My only regret is not to have learnt how to use NVivo from the beginning of my PhD journey!

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