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Qualitative Research & Tools

Find tutorials about conducting Qualitative research, including resources on methodologies and software.

About Coding

In qualitative research, coding is the process of extracting topical and thematic content from your qualitative data, usually passages of text. Conceptually, coding can be broken down into three parts (see: Andrasik, Frey, and Endeshaw, n.d.):

  1. Codes, or the actual labels and notation used as indicators for themes in your qualitative data.
  2. Coding, or the process of actively reading through your qualitative data, analyzing it, and assigning passages–such as a sentence or a paragraph chunk–to codes.
  3. The codebook, or an organized collection of all your codes containing the definition and scope of each.

There are two primary approaches to qualitative coding: deductive coding and inductive coding.

Deductive Coding
  • Deductive coding involves defining codes prior to data analysis based on your research question(s).
  • You pre-define a set of codes based on your theoretical framework and hypotheses, existing scholarly literature, or your domain knowledge of a field.
  • Deductive coding helps establish a point of departure from which your study will begin.
  • Having a pre-defined list of codes makes the coding process lest daunting, as you are not starting from scratch.
Inductive Coding
  • Inductive coding involves defining codes as they emerge from your analysis.
  • Instead of pre-defining codes ahead of time, you look for patterns in your data and assign codes accordingly and draw theoretical insights from them.
  • Through iterative and repeated analysis of your data, your codes are refined.
  • This allows for flexibility in the design of your codebook and allowing your data to guide your analysis.

In practice, deductive and inductive coding are commonly used together. It is usually beneficial to have a limited list of hypothesized codes drawn from theory or the literature, but then refining these codes–and discovering and creating new ones–through the data analysis process.


See also Gibbs' Videos, especially 4 Stages of Qualitative AnalysisThematic Coding
He also has many videos on Grounded Theory

How to Code

Especially Ch 3 & 7, which are applicable even if you do not use software. 
See also Christina Silvers' "Five Level QDA Method" books for NVivo, MAXQDA, and Atlas.ti (with videos)

Not available online, considered essential reading on analytic memos in coding.

Webinars & Short Articles


Although the software-based blogs do cover topics of interest to those using it, they also discuss many methodological issues and software ideas that can be implemented in any full-featured software. 

Video Collections

  • Research with Dr Kriukow - many 5-20 min videos with specific advice and examples on analysis and writing. Mostly talking with screen annotations listing the main points.
  • Duke University Social Science Research Institute - Many 2-10 min videos organized into playlists covering a wide variety of topics, including NVivo and the coding process. Some are animated with on-screen text that supplements the talking.

Recorded Tutorials and Webinars

Specific Articles / Videos: