Jump to content

Dr Jens Hansen

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Dr Jens Hansen last won the day on March 26 2012

Dr Jens Hansen had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

3 Neutral

About Dr Jens Hansen

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday July 3

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ
  • Skype

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
  • Interests
    I have an abiding interest in tinkering with research methods and an equal passion for helping others to succeed with whatever they have tackled. Because of this, I've developed the Woodhill Park Research Retreat which is a lovely old house with a teaching facility on a 2.5 hectare block near the beach and the vinyards. Thesis students and researchers stay with us and share their challenges with us and they also sample the local wines. The retreat is now in its tenth year under our leadership. I have been teaching QSR software since the days of N3 and also sell the software in New Zealand. We facilitate a suite of workshops so click on our website to learn about what's on offer.
  1. The ability to access references and portions of references as well as notes is fundamental to the academic and research enterprise. But the current process does not quite achieve that although it’s moving towards something that is very satisfactory. Currently, when working with references and NVivo, we‘re able follow a routine that’s, as far as we can tell, something akin to this: 1. We select needed citations from, e.g. EndNote, after having searched our library database for relevant materials. That may mean invoking Boolean operators to find the appropriate citations from the academic library. Typically, for most academics, such a library will include hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of entries. 2. We export the selected citations from EndNote as XML files to a holding destination. 3. We then import the XML files from that holding destination into NVivo by clicking on the ‘Bibliographic data’ option in External Data icon that’s a feature of the NVivo ribbon. 4. From the pop-up table, we select from the available options, ensuring that requisite fields are imported into the resultant memos which NVivo creates. The default for naming sources is ‘Title’ but the drop-down menu also allows for ‘Author and Year’. It’s also possible from the ‘Assign sources to’ field, to generate either a series of single references, or to assign them to different classifications. 5. We can then open the destination file/s and click on the link/s to the memo/s. created by NVivo. 6. We should, though, make sure that the selected citation is the correct one [there can be occasions, as we’ve discovered, when more than one citation stems from the same author in the same year]. 7. Finally, we can code and node away to our brain’s content using both our references and primary data as required. What we’d like to see built into the above is that the default option for step four has different consequences. There are three outcomes we’d like to propose for inclusion: 1. When materials from EndNote are migrated into NVivo, we’d like to see the full citation become presented as the default option for the ‘Name Sources’ field within the ‘Import from…’ table. (Currently, as we noted above, we’re able to select either ‘Title’ or ‘Author and year’ and currently, ‘Title’ is the default.) To our way of thinking, that does not align with the way in which academics tend to work. We believe they’d prefer to work with the full citation as a default (and they’d like to work with more besides…). 2. We’d like to see a capacity, therefore, of being able to import fuller details as directly as possible into NVivo. This means we’d like to see an option in NVivo for being able to import selected EndNote materials directly into Sources. We see this as being in the form of one or more documents (for Internals) or as inclusions within an external file that have been extracted from a linked file (NVivo to the EndNote library). 3. We’d also like to open imported data directly when it is double clicked rather than having to click on the linked memo to access embedded details. To our way of thinking, going directly to a source is especially important for beginning users of NVivo. In justifying these three suggestions, we reason that most academics prefer to work with a full citation rather than just a title or an author’s name. But in addition, our own experience tells us that academics want to be able to access a range of selected fields, e.g. key words/abstracts/notes and so on. Quite simply, they want to be able to access, manage, search, and annotate material from fields they’ve selected whilst they are interrogating their primary data. They invariably want to cross-reference their primary data with reference (literature) data. Otherwise, what’s the point of introducing citations and associated fields? Under the current set-up for NVivo, that can pretty much be achieved when memos are programmed to assume and display selected attributes. But as noted above, full citation details cannot yet currently be displayed as a default for the ‘Name Sources’ option in the pop-up table. Moving on… Because we think the inbuilt processes of NVivo don’t quite achieve what we’d like to see, we’ve been using some work-around processes. We believe these are quite useful and a tad quicker to use but in sharing them with forum members, we stress that they’re useful for us – that is – they fit with the ways in which we work. Below, we’ve outlined the essentials of our work-around strategies: If we’re working with a single reference: we go to EndNote X4, click on the Hide Empty Fields button (unique to X4 and found in the top right hand corner); select ‘Show All Fields’ from the ‘Output Styles’ option which resides within the ‘Edit’ drop-down menu (An alternative is to use the ‘Open Style Manager’ option within ‘Output Styles’ so that tailor-made options can be generated); we then invoke the ‘Preview’ tab in the ‘Tab Pane’ and copy the contents directly into a ‘new document’ that has been created within NVivo or into a word document for importing as a standalone source. [*]If we’re working with multiple references (which might have emerged from Boolean searches): we select citations and whatever fields we’ve opted to invoke after having used ‘Style Manager’; we then use the ‘Format Bibliography’ button so that reference data we’ve selected will be produced as a separate document; and at that point, we can either copy and paste the whole lot into a new document we’ve created within NVivo, or we can import the word document as a standalone source. And, by the way, that procedure also works if you’re importing an important single reference and this can also be achieved with earlier versions of EndNote and with earlier versions of NVivo. An alternative work-around we’ve devised involves creating External sources. Here, our goal has been to generate, as simply and as rapidly as possible, an easily accessible repository for reference data. We achieve this by following these steps: we create a new External File and, when the External Properties box shows, we complete the fields so that: the ‘Type’ becomes a ‘File link’ that links to the EndNote library (and that’s what creates speedy access); the contents and units become references (because that’s the unit we’ve created) and the range is however large we, as researchers determine it should be; relevant reference information is then pasted into each external unit as desired. The advantages of this are twofold: first, we’ve found that we’ve been able to very quickly go to our source library, invoke Boolean searches (or go directly to known references), so that we can select what’s wanted. We’re then able to copy and paste references into the external document divisions or units (which we’ve called references). We could, if we want to, also apply attributes from the Attributes Tab but in practice, we’ve not really found that to be useful for the approach we’re using. We want to underscore that this is really is a very simple work-around that enables us to assemble reference data for coding into a convenient place within NVivo. It’s not perfect but it works for us and it pretty much enables us to show full reference material with which we can work robustly. We apologise to those who already know about such strategies because the last thing we want to do is teach anybody’s grandparents how to suck the proverbial egg! Indeed, we recognise that it’s quite likely that others amongst the NVivo community may throw their hands up in horror and will have found much simpler solutions. But we have to say that in all honesty, we’ve found these relatively simple approaches have enabled us to quickly assemble what we need by way of reference materials. Note that we are stressing, yet again, that they are useful for our approaches to undertaking qualitative research. Our hope is that academics and researchers will not be bound by the determinism of the technology, and if they are, we hope they’ll recognise that and speak up so that better ways can be collaboratively developed. We know from conversations with QSR staff that those designing NVivo features already seek to mirror the ways in which academics and researchers actually do their work. We also know that QSR has moved a long, long way towards creating expanded synergies and capabilities within the software. Congratulations are, therefore, in order. But there is still a little way to go. Listening to the whispers and voices of academic and research communities of practice is now necessary and that’s what this forum enables. What do you think? Dr Jens J. Hansen, Anna Jo Perry, Woodhill Park Research Retreat, Aotearoa New Zealand
  2. Dr Jens Hansen

    new to NVivo & Qualitative Research

    Hi there, I'm perplexed as to why a topic that was ventilated a year ago is being redisplayed? COuld it be that the same question is being aired to see what responses there might be re NVivo 7? Cheers Jens
  3. Dr Jens Hansen

    Macintosh, anyone?

    Hi Nora Alas, I can't tell you at this point - it is a matter for Adam to address but I understand from one of my son's that the Pentium Chips in Macs, aside from apparently making Macs even quicker, ought to bring the two platforms closer together. My own suggestion would be to download a demo of the NVivo 7 and trial it. You will mainly learn about capacity by doing! Ooh, and when you've found out, please share your findings with us. What thoughts, Adam? Cheers Jens
  4. Hi there, If you are seeking to create what you call 'sub-documents' you might actually be better off creating sections within the one document so that you can section code. (Add the sections by creating a heirachy of headings using the heading styles and then go to the Coding Menu within the toolbar so that you can code by section.) Alternatively, it might be a good idea to duplicate the source document the requisite number of times (right mouse click and select the second to last option on the menu which is to Duplicate Document) and once it has been duplicated and renamed as many times as you need, strip away the redundant sections so that you are left with the materials you want within each 'sub document'. That way you will have retained the source document so that any problems encountered will still have allowed you to leave the source document intact. Insofar as training within Hong Kong is concerned, I've previously voiced an interest in coming to Hong Kong and jost last Saturday, I had Leonie Daws visit the Woodhill Park Research Retreat and we each agreed that we are prepared to travel together to teach within Asian centres because we figure that two benign and benevalant academics (one male and one female) is always going to be a useful combination. There have been requests before for training in Hong Kong and other cities in Asia but although we have made contact with the people requesting such training, nothing has eventuated. So if there is an interest, and there is a corpus of people to train via a hosting institution, then do, by all means, get in touch. And that may be especially pertinent given that NVivo 7 is going to be released very soon. Cheers Jens
  5. Dr Jens Hansen

    NVivo 7 - is an Overview for You?

    I think that Lyn's advice is timely and entirely appropriate. Given that there is this grand launching of the software, and given also that there are the two alternative approaches to learning a new skillset (or unlearning hitherto established routines) I think that users internationally can anticipate a flurry of activity in the near future. For instance, in New Zealand, we will be running a series of short demonstrations of the software including March 22nd, 27th and 31st as well as April 8th, 12th and 18th. New Zealand people who are interested in attending any one of these can contact me via email (see below). They can also apply to participate in any one of the first two (of many) courses we intend to run for those wanting to learn NVivo 7 (April 29th and May 5th at Woodhill Park Research Retreat). These two courses are going to be quite unique because they will involve a carefully selected sample of academics and researchers and we intend that these courses will not only have a slant not only upon getting to grips with the new software but also upon determining the moest effective pedagogical (andragogical) approaches that we might all follow when we are teaching others about NVivo 7. To that extent, what Lyn is proposing (namely that some may wish to take part in an overview as a predicate to self-directed exploration) will obviously be part of such a mix. The idea that we have is that we will facilitate these initial courses so that we can all benefit from discussions on what the best ways might be of teaching others - students, researchers, colleagues, government departments, alike. I realise that the calendar and diary that is attached to this forum has been the standard way of drawing peoples' attention to upcoming activities and courses but my responding to Lyn is partially to highlight the fact that there really will be a great deal of activity going on and also, to encourage people to keep an eye on the calendar of events which I for one tend to inspect less frequently than I do other components of the forum. Cheers Jens
  6. Dr Jens Hansen

    mac user

    This question has surfaced from time-to-time but never quites as succinctly as in the manner in which you asked it. I would like to have been able to answer it in a similar manner by simply going - but alas, that is not possible. There have been comments on the forum in the past to the effect that NVivo 2 will work via an emulator and there have also been comments about the need to launch via OS9 rather than OS10. I know that QSR have also indicated that they do not have any immediate plans to address the need for software that works on a Mac platform (see suggestions section of the forum) and frankly, given the rapid and frequent rate of change that there was with Mac systems for such a long time, that is understandable. However, the fact that there appears to be a merging of systems with Mac folk saying that they are converting to an Intel Chip might mean that there will be a gradual convergence to an even greater extent than that which is presently the case. Also, I'm told, a two button mouse might soon be on the cards. So in the meantime, you will need to continue to build up thousands of temp files in your PC and it may be that some form of convergence will happen but don't hold your breath for you'd surely faint before the convergence occurs. Finally, I wonder if Adam from QSR might affirm that these comments are representative of what QSR intends for NVivo 8? (Thanks mate and trust that the family remains well...) Cheers Jens
  7. Hi there - I'm sure that you are alarmed at this but I suspect that you need not be too concerned (even if the lapse has been irksome). What you do is write to the Help Desk /Information folk at QSR and they will be able to fix that for you by looking at their records and revitalising your work with a fresh ID number. As a trainer/distributor of the QSR software, I had a student version that I supplied to a person in New Zealand and a similar thing happened, but Sue at QSR, being ever helpful as always, was able to supply a revised license number. Cheers Jens
  8. Dr Jens Hansen

    N6 tutorials default location

    Hi there, This answer sounds so simple that I may have overlooked something in reading your question but... might not a short-cut on the desktop do the job? In doing this, you would need to locate and nominate the specific folder you want the activated short-cut to open. Cheers Jens
  9. Hi John and happy new year to you and all others on the forum. Your question is interesting by inference but is rather devoid of specific clues about the extent to which you are 'au fait' with Grounded Theory. One might make the assumption is that you are very familiar with any one or all of the following: (1) Grounded Theory in its original form a la Glaser and Strauss; (2) The subsequent contributions of folk like Juliet Corbin who worked with Strauss; (3) The splits that have gone on insofar as the debate about Grounded Theory is concerned; and (4) The ways in which Corbin in particular has sought to bring some sense to the debate by writing cogently as recently as last year in a general methods text (which I do not have here at home with me at the moment). Given that you are familiar with any one or more of the above, it follows that you will also realize that software, be it of the N6 variety, or the NVivo 2 genus, or even the soon to be released NVivo 7 version, can only ever serve as a tool for you to use in applying your knowledge of Grounded Theory. So in a sense, the software will only ever be as good as the knowledge base of the user - or put another way - how well you use software as a tool in seeking to derive theory from data that you are torturing - oops - interpreting - is pretty much dependent upon how well you understand the qualitative research process and Grounded Theory to boot... Now all of that sounds a trifle crass and a tad terse too and that is not my intention. In fact, I tend to hold the view that while qualitative researchers can and do draw conclusions from data; and can and do generate theory as a consequence of reviewing data iteratively, more often than not, they go into a situation expecting to test out the fallibility or otherwise of hunches that they have brought into the fray in the first instance. In a sense, therefore, they are being 'deductive' rather than inductive and Popper's notions of falsifiability, whilst not necessarily brought to bear here, nevertheless warrant at least a glancing moment of consideration. But I'll go even further out on a limb. I hold the view that while many researchers seldom actually 'do Grounded Theory' they often achieve what I would term to be 'grounded methodology'. What I mean here is what Miles and Huberman mainly referred to as changing procedures 'front-end first'. Researchers shift their approaches and foci to suit the stories that they are unraveling and they routinely do this as the story/ies and the inherent meaning/s within their opus become sleuthed (and I use the word sleuthed intentionally). So which to use - NVivo or N6? There are snippets in the archives (FAQs and History) and there are comparisons that have been made within the QSR website and in various other texts and also websites (CAQDAS for instance). It might be a good idea to have a peek-a-boo at these. But beyond that, have a thorough play with the demo version of each package. Over the years I've found that some folk take to N6 like a duck to water whereas others take to NVivo with similar ease. (And of course, some don't really take to either very well.) I suspect that the same will eventually hold true for NVivo 7 but time will tell on that score. And how well researchers actually succeed in applying Grounded Theory approaches to an actual project, will, I believe, remain a function of how well the literature concerning and surrounding the Grounded Theory approach is known and understood. In tandem, successful application will also be related to how well researchers are able to harness their choice of a qualitative research tool in order to assist them in their in sense-making of the data from which they hope to extract and promote theory. Finally - I realize that in 'going out on a limb', I might have been putting myself on the wrong side of where my chainsaw has been cutting! Perhaps I'm lopping off the branch to which I perilously cling and I might be completely on the outer insofar as your question is concerned (which logically means that I'm not on the inner side of chainsaw technology!). But in reality, I often see people saying that they are 'doing a Grounded Theory project' when in reality, the methodology is not really being applied in the manner that I suspect Glaser and Strauss had originally intended. (Checking out the reasonableness or otherwise of my observation, may in fact, promote a rethink of what you want to do...) So cheers to you and very good luck in your pursuits of playing with the demo versions of the software. I suspect that you need to play in order to discover from experience which software package best suits you and the unique exigencies of your particular project – however these may be grounded! Cheers Jens
  10. Well, the minute I step away for a second or three to attend to the home front, interesting topics seem to surface. I'm afraid that I can't necessarily cite any existing longitudinal studies into childhood poverty and well being but doubtless these exist and a thorough scutiny of the various search engines and on-line data-bases will almost certainly yeild something. But the fact that you are looking at once at both ends of a continuum may make that bi-polar search rather problematic - in a sense - each anchor- because it is polar - almost dictates that there should be separate searches, not an overlapped one. More than likely though, I think that it would be fairly unlikely that you would find any longitudinal study of this nature which does not also have some recourse to quantitative data. Otherwise, how will the universe of subjects be accounted for and more importantly, be compared and contrasted? If I'm right, this might well mean that the methodological slant adopted will involve a mixed approach rather than one that is solely qualitative and that factor will, in a way, present as your methodological issue. Put another way the methodological issue/s of note appear to me to be that (a) you can't really do justice to this very broad topic unless the methodological stance that you assume is of a mixed nature and ( you are more likely to do justice to it if you perceive it as a comparison of two unique phenomena that more than likely will have been treated elsewhere as discrete rather than as linked matters. Not sure that this necessarily adds to the topic but is seems to me that your intentions are very interesting. Of course, the question of how best you will procede using NVivo (2 or 7) is a factor that you should also bear in mind! Cheers Jens
  11. Dr Jens Hansen

    Tracking interviews

    Hi there Ann It seems to me that there are three possible solutions. First, you could simply create an attribute which delineates what number interview you are looking at, i.e. first interview, second interview, etc. That will allow you to search according to that attribute. Second, you could create sets - put all of the first interviews into one set, all of the second into another ... and so on. Third, you could make each person into a 'case' so that you track their interviews by attaching each successive interview to the one that preceded it. I imagine that you will create a matrix search but whatever you want to do, just remember that pressing F1 will take you straight to the Help tool within NVivo. Cheers Jens
  12. Hi there Ellini, I note, yet again, the wonderful capacity that QSR N6 users have of joining the forum 'just in time' which is when an issue crops up and when that issue becomes important to them. Believe me, I'm all for that learning strategy but I seriously suggest that people should also 'lurk' for a while after they have had their issue/question/research matter dealt with. Anyhow, to your question... It seems to me that there are two possible answers to your question about 'best practices'. Either you could generater three mergible aspects of the one project (Aspect A = Pre-test, Aspect B = Interviews and Aspect C = Post-test), or you could create one project in which you 'nodify' those same three aspects. If you opt for the former option, you'd need to read up on QSR merge and if you elect to explore the latter strategy, you'd want to study the matter of generating noding by the three 'aspects' you have created. Thereafter, you should be able to generate matrices between the nodes (which will be about the three aspects) that you have created. Cheers Jens
  13. Dr Jens Hansen

    N6-Moving Nodes Around

    Hi again, I wonder if you might achieve that capacity were you to create a 'save as' copy of the original project? That way you could 'play' to your hearts content and you'd always have the original to fall back on. A colleague of mine who works in graphic design, always, always, always, as a matter of absolute routine, works with two parallel copies of whatever his project is. He does so because should one version crash or become corrupted, the parallel copy will aways be there. This means that every time he saves the project, he saves the project alternately as version A or B. The routine is, he tells me, second nature to him now. I've not done this with QL research projects but I think that there is merit in the idea. Cheers Jens