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Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software

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Title: Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software  
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Subject: Aquad, MAXQDA, Qiqqa, NVivo, Research methods
Collection: Qda Software, Research Methods
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Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software

Computer Assisted/Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) offers tools that assist with qualitative research such as transcription analysis, coding and text interpretation, recursive abstraction, content analysis, discourse analysis, grounded theory methodology, etc.


  • Definition 1
  • List of CAQDAS software 2
    • Free / open source software 2.1
    • Proprietary software 2.2
    • Web-based software 2.3
  • Pros and cons 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


CAQDAS is used in psychology, marketing research, ethnography, and other social sciences. The CAQDAS Networking project[1] lists the following tools. A CAQDAS program should have:

  • Content searching tools
  • Coding tools
  • Linking tools
  • Mapping or networking tools
  • Query tools
  • Writing and annotation tools

List of CAQDAS software

Free / open source software

  • Aquad (GPL licence, since version 7)[2] (Windows)
  • Cassandre (Java-based)
  • Computer Aided Textual Markup & Analysis (CATMA) (GPL v3 license) (Java-based desktop version up to CATMA 3.2 for Windows, Mac OS, Linux )
  • Coding Analysis Toolkit (CAT) (web-based)
  • Compendium (Windows, Mac OS, Linux)
  • ELAN (Java-based for Windows, Mac OS, Linux)
  • FreeQDA (GPL2, Java-based)
  • libreQDA (AGPL3 license) (web-based)
  • QDA Miner Lite, proprietary license, free version with reduced functionality (Windows)
  • RQDA (Windows, Mac OS, Linux)
  • TAMS Analyzer (Open source, Mac OS)

Proprietary software

Web-based software

Pros and cons

Such software helps to organize, manage and analyse information. [3] The advantages of using this software include being freed from manual and clerical tasks, saving time, managing huge amounts of qualitative data, having increased flexibility, and having improved validity and auditability of qualitative research. Concerns include increasingly deterministic and rigid processes, privileging of coding, and retrieval methods; reification of data, increased pressure on researchers to focus on volume and breadth rather than on depth and meaning, time and energy spent learning to use computer packages, increased commercialism, and distraction from the real work of analysis.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "CAQDAS". Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "AQUAD website". Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  3. ^ Banner, DJ; Albarrran, JW (2009). "Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software: a review.". Canadian journal of cardiovascular nursing = Journal canadien en soins infirmiers cardio-vasculaires 19 (3): 24–31.  
  4. ^ St John, W; Johnson, P (2000). "The pros and cons of data analysis software for qualitative research.". Journal of nursing scholarship : an official publication of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing / Sigma Theta Tau 32 (4): 393–7.  

External links

  • The CAQDAS Networking Project maintained by University of Surrey offers advice and reviews on various software packages.
  • Harald Klein's comprehensive guide to CAQDAS

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