Statistical & Qualitative Data Analysis Software NVivo
About NVivo; links to NVivo tutorials and resources.
What is NVivo?
NVivo is a software program used for qualitative and mixed-methods research. Specifically, it is used for the analysis of unstructured text, audio, video, and image data, including (but not limited to) interviews, focus groups, surveys, social media, and journal articles. It is produced by QSR International. As of July 2014, it is available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems; however, the Macintosh version is missing some of the features that the Windows version has.
Why use NVivo?
- Analyze and organize unstructured text, audio, video, or image data.
- Playback ability for audio and video files, so that interviews can easily be transcribed in NVivo.
- Ability to capture social media data from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn using the NCapture browser plug-in.
- Import notes and captures from Evernote - great for field research.
- Import citations from EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley, Zotero, or other bibliographic management software - great for literature reviews.
- User interface and text analysis available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Simplified Chinese.
What file types are associated with NVivo?
- *.nvp - An NVivo for Windows project file.
- *.nvpx - An NVivo for Mac project file.
What version of NVivo does Kent State currently use?
As of September 2016, Kent State uses NVivo 11 for Windows and Mac.
Is there a way to try NVivo for free?
At this time, QSR International offers free 14 day trials of NVivo 11 for Windows and NVivo 11 for Mac, which you can download at the QSR International website.
Is there a version of NVivo for Mac?
NVivo 11 is available for Windows and Mac, but at this time, the Mac version is missing some of the features that the Windows version has. See QSR International's comparison of product features for more information:
How can I access NVivo?
Kent State University has licenses for NVivo 11 Pro for Windows and NVivo 11 for Mac. All currently-employed Faculty and Staff, as well as currently-enrolled Students are eligible to request a license for their university-owned or personally-owned computer at no charge.
Please contact your local desktop support person to receive a copy of the software or to renew the license of your existing NVivo 11 installation, or to upgrade from version 10 to version 11.
Currently enrolled students
If NVivo 11 is not currently installed on your computer, you can download the free 14-day trial of NVivo 11 at qsrinternational.com/support/downloads. If you still need to use NVivo after the 14-day period, or if you need to renew the license of your existing NVivo installation, complete the NVivo License Request Form to obtain a license code.
- Tiny screen? Undock open source and node panes for ease of reading
- You can "undock" the views of open sources, nodes, queries, or other project items by right-clicking on the item's tab and selecting Undock. This will open the item in its own viewer window. This is particularly useful if you have dual monitors: you can have a source document on one monitor, and have the node view on the other.
- Choosing between Word or PDF formats? Word and plaintext files are easier to code in NVivo than PDFs
- In general, it is easier to code plain text and Word documents than it is to code PDFs. Automated word detection (such as word frequency and text search queries) also work better on plain text and Word documents than they do on PDFs. If you have a choice between the two formats and your analysis only requires the text, choose plain text.
- Headers, footers, and page numbers in Word docs are hidden when viewing the file in NVivo
- If your Word source document has headers, footers, and page numbers, they will be hidden when the document is imported into NVivo. This makes it easier to code long passages of text. This is NOT true of PDFs: headers, footers, and page numbers can not be ignored, and can interfere with coding sentences or paragraphs that carry over a page.
- Need line numbers? Save your source as a PDF
- If you have a Microsoft Word document with line numbers that you want to import into NVivo 10, those line numbers will not be visible in NVivo. If you wish to be able to see the line numbers, save the Word document as a PDF, and import that PDF into NVivo. Note that you will be able to see the line numbers when viewing the source, but not when viewing coded content in a node. (May 2015)
- To avoid corrupting your NVivo project files, do not store them on a network drive, external hard drive, or cloud-synced directory
- Because of how NVivo saves project data, it is generally not recommended to keep your NVivo project file (*.nvp or *.nvpx) on a network drive, on a folder that is synced to the cloud, or on an external hard drive or USB drive. If your connection to a network drive or external drive is severed at any time while your NVivo project is still open, the file will become corrupted.
- If you want to keep your NVivo project file on a network drive, change the "Update projects on networks drives" setting to On save. (See "How can I configure NVivo for Windows to update the network file each time I save the project?")
- If you are keeping your project file in a folder that is synced to a cloud storage service (such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, etc.), QSR recommends pausing syncing while you have the project open.
Related Software and Tools for Qualitative Research at the Library
Camcorders and lapel microphones are available for checkout at the University Library circulation desk.
Digitizing Documents, Audio Recordings, and Video Recordings
The Student Multimedia Studio, located on the first floor of University Library, has hardware and software for converting VHS and audio cassette tapes into digital formats. There are also flatbed scanners and document cameras that can be used for scanning oversized papers and objects.
Alternative Qualitative Data Analysis Software
Highlights of QDA Software Packages
NVivo 10 has a mixture of qualitative and quantitative analysis features: in particular, it can compute inter-coder reliability and use cluster analysis to examine text or coding similarities.
- User interface and text analysis capabilities available for English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese Simplified
- Integration with Evernote: import anything from an Evernote notebook (including OCR'd text, clipped websites, and recordings made using the mobile apps) into an NVivo project for analysis
- Easy, code-free web scraping of social media data from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube using the NCapture browser plugin for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer
Unlike MAXQDA and Atlas.ti, NVivo does not have a dedicated mobile app; however, NVivo's ability to import from Evernote more than makes up for this.
- User interface available in English, Spanish, and German
- Integrates all functionality of Google Earth
- Export project data in XML format: projects are fully portable
- Free dedicated companion apps for iOS and Android devices: useful if using tablet or mobile device to collect data in the field
- Note: It is not possible to work on an existing Atlas.ti desktop project in the Atlas.ti mobile app
MAXQDA and MAXQDAplus
- User interface and text analysis capabilities available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Russian, Turkish, Thai, Polish, and Czech
- Free dedicated companion apps for iOS and Android devices (MAXApp): can code and add content from your mobile device; integrates with Dropbox so work can be transferred from the mobile application to the desktop program
- Note: It is not possible to work on an existing MAXQDA desktop project in MAXApp
- Free MAXReader application allows others to open and read MAXQDA projects, even if they do not have MAXQDA
- MAXQDAplus contains quantitative content analysis tools (MAXDictio)
HyperRESEARCH and HyperTRANSCRIBE
- HyperTRANSCRIBE: Dedicated standalone software package for transcribing audio and video files
- Subscription-based service - cost is $13 per month per user (student discounts and volume discounts also available)
- Can discontinue subscription and resume project later: project data will be preserved even if subscription stopped
- Cloud-based - work on your project from any computer connected to the internet, regardless of operating system
- Easy to collaborate
- Multiple users can work on the same project simultaneously
- Browser-based service: teams with Mac and Windows users do not have to worry about cross-compatibility
- Available in English and German
- Export project data in XML format
Limitations of Modern QDA Software
- Limited Mac support: Most of the major QDA software packages (NVivo, MAXQDA, and Atlas.ti) now offer Mac versions, but because the Mac versions are so new, the feature sets are often limited compared to the Windows versions. This will improve with time, but can lead to some frustrations for faculty and student Mac users.
- Lack of support for languages with right-to-left scripts: While most of the major QDA software packages have Unicode character support (which allows the programs to correctly display non-English character sets), many of them have difficulty parsing right-to-left languages such as Arabic. Characters will display correctly, but the word order may not be correct.