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Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo

Bazeley, Patricia
Sage Publications, London
9781412921411 (pb)

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Cover of book Bazeley identifies the audience she sees who will get most benefit from this book, that is; for those who prefer to learn by doing, those wanting to learn new tools on a need-to-know basis, and explorers who like 'to play around'. Firstly I feel a context is needed for you (the reader) to understand why I have reviewed this book as I have. Having been trained in NVivo 2 during my MA I have found myself, in my new job, now using NVivo 7, I have no experience of using NU*DIST. Baring this in mind, I would say I fall into the second category of audience, so I will try and give an overall review of the book, but I will be reading it from 'those wanting to learn new tools on a need-to-know basis', for it is all I can really do!

To start with, there is a good, albeit very brief, philosophical discussion on the implications of using software to develop a theoretical framework from qualitative data, this is sharp and to the point (as expected due the book being a practical guide rather than a methodological guide), it highlights and introduces the ideas of grounded theory, and data-lead theory development. Along with this there is an interesting history of the development of NVivo 7 that does not add any contribution to the knowledge of using the software, that adds a bit for of a familiarity with the programme.

Bazely has produced an easy-to-read book that contains simple language, which is accessible for those who are new and 'old hat' to the software and subject matter. This I feel is important for a number of reasons, if someone was new to the software, using terms likes nodes, trees and cases may seem daunting, however, Bazeley successfully engages with the reader in slowly introducing these tools and ideas. This along with the clearly identifiable tables indicating illustrations, examples, instructions, tips and warnings of the data use (again in a simple but effective way), makes Qualitative data analysis with NVivo, a useful resource to aid analysis and a useful addition to reading lists and bookshelves in educational institutions or businesses that engage with NVivo.

This book is well-designed and well thought-out, I feel it is and would be useful, not only for researchers, academics, and people in general who are who are new to the software but also, for people like me who are trying to upgrade from a previous version of NVivio. Through this book I have learned skills and knowledge that will develop my analysis of qualitative data, which I feel can only help research produce 'better' and more insightful research output.

The biggest problem I faced was locating exact procedures that did were not clearly identified in either the help boxes throughout the book, the glossary or contents pages. Although this would not be a problem for people who had never used the software before, for those who were/are familiar with the software, they may find it a bit flustering flicking through the entire book looking for a procedure, although I admit that this may be my problem alone. However, overall I think that this is a good book that would easily fit onto a bookshelf of students, lecturers and researchers alike.

Steven Martin
University of Warwick

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