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Software for Digital Scholarship

Information about DiSC-supported software for the collection, processing, analysis or display of numeric, text, or geospatial data

NVivo is software for Qualitative Research from QSR International. Many people consider it their favorite because it is so powerful and provides organization for the entire project. The learning curve is small to do basic tasks, but there are many advanced features that can take longer to get accustomed to.

NVivo 1.0 (released March 18, 2020) was released for Windows and Mac. As previously, the Mac version has fewer features. QSR also released Collaboration Cloud for sharing projects (within OS only). The Plus and Pro versions from v12 have been combined.

NVivo 12 (released March 20, 2018)  for Windows has 2 versions. Pro has the basic features researchers need. Plus has additional automation and social networking capabilities. NVivo for Mac OS is also available, with somewhat fewer features than the Windows Pro version. The Starter Edition from v11 has been discontinued.

Access to NVivo

Learning Paths

Start Here

  1. At the moment, you need to choose between using NVivo 1.0 and NVivo 12. If you are collaborating with others, always use the same version. NVivo's capabilities and price also depend on whether you ae using a Mac vs Windows computer. 
    • NVivo 1.5 - Newer; more user-friendly and intuitive.
    • NVivo 12 - Similar capability. Available for students at a cheaper per-year price (1 yr for ~$100 vs 2yrs for ~$100 + OnTheHub Discounts).
  2. There is a 14-day free trial of NVivo. It will come with one (or more) sample projects that you can open and explore. All video and text tutorials use the "Multi-Method" or "Environmental Change Down East" project, so you should be able to follow along.
  3. When exploring the interface, keep in mind that many functions are context-sensitive (buttons are only available or active when specific screens are open. Be sure to try each of the following in a variety of spots:Left Click, Right Click, Double Click, and Pause your mouse.

Virtual 1 hr Workshop

  1. Version 1.5 Windows
    Choose between:
  2. Version 1.5 Mac
    1. Fast-Paced with Text Bubbles (no audio) -  About 20 min total of videos across 3 pages: Import, Organize, and Explore Data
    2. YouTube Playlist: Recommended 30 min:  #1-3, 10, 11, 15, 20, 23-28. Then watch the 15 min Explore video (Windows) ^.
  3. Version 12 Windows
    1. 4 min of fast-paced text-bubble video on basic tasks on v12 for Windows 
    2. Getting Started with NVivo 12 (Hull Uni Library) -  Recommended 1hr playlist: #2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 18
             Watch other videos as they are relevant to your project or interesting to you
    • If the accent makes these difficult, try the 1.5 hr NVivo Essentials Course from Linked-In Learning (Free through Mason)
  4. Version 12 Mac
    1. 4 min of fast-paced text-bubble video on basic tasks on v12 for Mac
    2. NVivo 12 for MAC (Deborah Rowe) - 7 videos (~ 40min) on some of the important tasks


Text Path

1. The documentation from QSR is great, and is the recommended way to learn NVivo by reading.

Version 1.5 - Use the sandwich in the upper right to navigate: 1.5 Windows  |   1.0 Mac  

Version 12 - Start with the Using NVivo section:   v12 Windows  |   v12 Mac

2. For more in-depth coverage, I would recommend the book Using Software in Qualitative Research by Ann Lewins; Christina Silver. It is not specific to any software, and thus will be useful regardless of the version you use, and remain so even as the softwares change (NVivo has been releasing a new version about every 2 years).

Books about NVivo

See also the Companion Website with an additional sample project and a map of all query options. 

NVivo Tutorials

Resources from QSR International

These are wonderful materials and should be the first stop.

Other Resources