Katie MacMillan and Shelley
McLachlan (1999) 'Theory-Building with Nud.Ist: Using Computer
Assisted Qualitative Analysis in a Media Case Study'
Sociological Research Online, vol. 4, no. 2, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/4/2/macmillan_mcLachlan.html>
To cite articles published in Sociological Research Online, please reference the above information and include paragraph numbers if necessary
Received: 10/03/99 Accepted: 20/05/99 Published: 30/6/99
'Decisions are being made about what is a category of significance to the study, what questions are being asked, what concepts developed, what ideas explored, and whether these categories should be altered, redefined, or deleted during analysis' (Richards and Richards, 1994: 447).
...managed to reformulate and re-situate his statement as a condemnation of the paparazzi. Further, the emphasis on the nationality of the photographers constructed a division between them and the British press. Thus the newspapers were able to shift the focus and implications of Spencer's statement from the category 'press', which includes them, to the foreign press which does not, and in particular to the paparazzi. (MacMillan and Edwards, 1999, p. 160).
Figure 1: NUD*IST working interface
Figure 2: Node Explorer
Figure 3: Text Searches
Figure 4: Text Search Node Browser
Figure 5: Index Searches
'Consider, for example, how we work when developing theory from the text. We often get going by finding little things that relate in some meaningful way - perhaps, if our interest is in stress, that certain topics get discussed in anxious ways (and that is something that good coding and retrieval can find for us). So then we start looking for components in those topics that might cause anxiety, often by studying the text, finding or guessing the components and coding for them, recalling situation facts not in the text, and looking for suggestive co-currences of codes. We might on a hunch start looking at text passages on people's personal security and how they arrange it ... to see if there is some possible connection between components occurring in the anxiety topics and security arrangements' (Richards and Richards, 1994: 448. Emphasis added).
2 The makers of NUD*IST are releasing a new version in May 1999 called NVivo. Although we have not yet investigated the capabilities of this new package it claims to have improved many of its features. These include being able to deal with a variety of input data formats, new data linking and coding options and improved reporting and exporting facilities.
3 The ESRC funded project 'Information and Democracy' (L126251016) was part of ESRC's Media Economics and Media Culture programme. The project carried out an extensive audit of the national news media over a two year period from September 1996 to September 1998. Data for the education case study was restricted to the first year's results.
4 For different applications of DA, including analysis using schematic models of discourse, see, for example, van Dijk (1993). For 'critical discourse analysis' see writers such as Fairclough (1995), Fowler (1991), and Kress and Hodge (1979).
5 Although the technology for scanning various textual formats is constantly improving, with hardware getting faster, better, and cheaper all the time, we did encounter various problems with our own OCR scanning software. This included the disproportionate amount of time required to scan in newspaper print for the resulting quality of scanned text.
6 When dealing with interview transcripts or long pieces of text NUD*IST requires the researcher to specify the size of each text unit which will have codes assigned to it. This may vary in size from a sentence to a whole page depending on the requirements of research.
7 See, for example, the OED definition, including 'a system of ideas or statements held as an explanation or account of a group of facts or phenomena; a hypothesis that has been confirmed or established by observation or experiment, and is propounded or accepted as accounting for the known facts; a statement of what are held to be general laws, principles, or causes of something known or observed.'
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