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Lyn Richards

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About Lyn Richards

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 01/01/2006

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    RMIT Melbourne - left QSR 1/1/06
  • Interests
    I now do teaching, writing, about qualitative research and improving methods for handling qualitative data, using all that I've learned thru the years of driving software development. Note, I no longer do software training, in QSR's or other software. Other interests are opera, orchids, orchards, bushwalking and above all, family in all its manifestations.

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  1. It has indeed been a great project, and a marvellous supplement to the text book advice and lessons in my book. The ten researchers who've contributed have written accessible, honest accounts of their research experience. I'm sorry, no summaries available yet. But the site will go up with the publication of the second edition of the book, due December this year according to the Sage website. A note for Japanese researchers: there's a nice connection with the just-out Japanese translation of Handling Qualitative Data. Prof Junko Otani, the principal translator, has contributed one of the research accounts for the Methods in Practice website. cheers Lyn
  2. That's because the initiation of this project is looong ago, Venne! So here's an update on my message. I've been working with the ten researchers whose projects were selected for the Methods in Practice website, for six months now, as they prepare and edit their contributions. Final files go to Sage for publication on their website at the end of April. The revision of the book is also completed and gets delivered to Sage on Monday (wheeeee!) The Methods in Practice project has of course proven to be about 1K times bigger a task than anyone, even I, imagined, but the result is going to be a splendid online resource for novice researchers. It's something I've wanted to help create for years - practical, working reports of real projects, not the proper, polished versions that get into refereed journals. And practical they are, ten researchers' detailed accounts of what was done and what worked (and what didn't) in ten projects from eight countries and as many very different methods. (Using a variety of software packages or no software.) Each summary has five detail pages behind it, on the data, ways of working with data, analysis and reporting processes and references. The contributors have worked valiantly to deal with my goals and suggestions and editing, and in many cases there have been four or five revision stages - a marathon effort, and they all deserve hearty congratulations. When will it be available? As soon as the book's second edition is launched. When will that be? I'll know more in April. cheers Lyn
  3. Dear all, The full set of online step-by-step tutorials is now available for NVivo 8. This is an update of the set of ten self-teaching tutorials I wrote for NVivo 7, matching the ten chapters of "Handling Qualitative Data". Some 6-8,000 people have downloaded these tutorials, and very many teachers from countries worldwide have asked permission to use them in courses. Whilst they are copyright, I happily give permission for copying for teaching purposes. The version for NVivo 8 has been updated by Fiona and Sue at QSR, who added a new tutorial on handling nontext data, and many updates to show other changes in the new rev, and the different livery of windows etc. Thanks from us all to Sue and Fiona for their careful work. You can download the NVivo 8 tutorials from the QSR Website at this link: http://download.qsrinternational.com/Docu...8_Tutorials.pdf. This is a free resource: you are welcome to send the link to other researchers it might help. You can work in your own project, setting it up and getting started, or use the sample data that comes with the software. All the details about help are in the Introduction section of the tutorials. Still on NVivo 7? You can use the NVivo 7 tutorials on the web from Sage’s Resources page for Handling Qualitative Data. Or they can be directly downloaded from here as one PDF document. I hope these help researchers and teachers, cheers Lyn
  4. Well Carlos, you outed the NVivo 8 tutorials! I was waiting politely for QSR to let people know, via the website or this Forum, about this new set of tutorials. They have been available since the end of September for download. and most updating was done by QSR staff. But it seems that, like the previous set of online tutorials for NVivo 7, this free resource was to remain a secret, accessible only by word of mouth and Forum discussions. But now, as the marketers say, (intriguingly, usually in bulk mailouts to huge lists), You Can Be Among The First To Know....! I'll provide more details in separate message. I do hope they're helpful. As with the NV7 tutorials, they are free to download, and whilst they are copyrighted I happily give permission for duplication for teaching purposes. The NV7 tutorials were a fine example of good researcher word of mouth, some 6-8,000 downloads, and very many of them bringing requests to duplicate for teaching. I believe in free resources. Please feel free to pass the link on to anyone else in need. cheers. Lyn
  5. My thanks for all the splendidly enthusiastic personal responses I've had to the proposal for a "Methods in Practice" online resource. It's proving an intriguing and very enjoyable discussion - and such live reports of research practices are clearly much needed and will be much appreciated. I've now put detailed guidelines and timelines up on my website - http://www.lynrichards.org/Guidelines_for_...in_Practice.htm. Please go there to find out more about what's involved in writing a contribution and how these reports will be presented. Dates for each stage are on the website. For now, just email me if you are interested in contributing. And yes, please consider doing so! cheers Lyn
  6. Dear All, This is an invitation to contribute to a new set of online resources telling qualitative methods in practice - how researchers actually conducted the tasks of handling and analysing data, what worked and what didn’t, and the strategies and techniques developed. These reports will be freely available on the website Sage Publications will host for the next edition of my latest text, Handling Qualitative Data. Apologies for cross-posting, but I’m keen to send the invitation around widely, as explained below. Please send it on to colleagues you think may wish to contribute. I'd warmly welcome discussion here about the need for and uses of such resources - if you're likely to be a user rather than a contributor, please put in your ideas! In my QSR days, and more recently as an advisor, I've learned newcomers to qualitative research often seek such accounts, and rarely find them. Published papers don't give enough detail of what was actually done with data and few texts go there. The aim is to provide a small set of succinct, practical and frank reports that will help students develop realistic expectations of the tasks ahead and the sort of respect for the real work of research that is only gained from seeing that work in progress. Strategic victories can be celebrated, mistakes and near misses can be revisited, lessons learned can be shared. Contributors will be able to link from the book’s site to their own research site, publications, or data samples, making these reports live and vivid to the reader and providing teaching materials. They will be reports not about the content and conclusions of the project but about key details of how you went about handling that content and how you arrived at those conclusions. What’s in it for you? I’m expecting that the prime benefits to contributors whose reports are accepted will be the very accessible online publication of details of their study that are usually hard or impossible to publish, interest and discussion from other researchers and the publicity for their other research products. My guess is that the actual process of writing a methods-in-practice report may also be clarifying and rewarding, even fun, and sometimes a first step to a more ‘regular’ publication. I aim to gather reports from researchers from a variety of levels of experience, different styles and methods of qualitative work and several disciplines. And of course with a variety of software experiences (and products), including not using software. The qualitative project reported should have been concluded at least to the stage of either successful examination of a thesis or acceptance of a refereed publication. All contributors will be asked to address each of the research processes covered in the book – so each chapter can point to the relevant parts of the website’s reports. But otherwise, there will be few restrictions. The report will depend on your experience and style. If you would like to contribute such a methods-in-practice report, please email me (lyn@lynrichards.org)- with some notes on your project and context, and any ideas about presenting your research in this way. I’ll send you the guidelines for contributors. Cheers, Lyn For details of this proposal, http://www.lynrichards.org/Call_for_Method...ice_reports.htm.
  7. Dear all, This is to let you know that Tom Richards and I have now completely exited from QSR. As of August 2007 we have no connection with the company, by ownership, employment or consultancy, and no responsibility for its products, policies or marketing claims. More details of the story up to now and of our activities in this new stage are on my website. Warmest wishes to all the researchers around the world we’ve worked with in these long years of software development and to all the users of software we've taught and learned from. We very much hope that qualitative software, including the software we helped create, will continue to be developed with innovation and understanding of the requirements of research and researchers. We hope the future will see increasingly lively and critical debate - especially on this Forum! - about methods and the many possible directions of software development. cheers, Lyn.
  8. You're halfway there, Eugene, having understood that nodes (or indeed sources) in Sets are shortcuts. Thus they have to be shortcuts to real items (nodes or sources). If you create a node anywhere, it's a real node, and you'll find it where you created it - tree, free or case. So you don't need to export it out of the set (indeed, you can't!) It's just there, in the nodes folder where you put it. You can delete its shortcut in the set at any time. Give it a go in your project. Sets are working spaces, ways of managing your data so that you can see and grab a particular collection of items (via the shortcuts) for searching or reviewing or scoping a research process. There's brief help in my tutorial on cases, nodes and sets and managing them: http://www.sagepub.co.uk/richards/pdf/Tutorial_3.pdf. More very detailed help in Pat Bazeley's new book on Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo - out now. pp. 111 f. Hope this helps Lyn
  9. Dear all, An update for those using my free website tutorials, and/or my workshop handbook, and particularly for those researchers and teachers I've talked with since they appeared - if you are wanting far more detailed assistance via a book to keep beside you, the news is that NOW OUT is the far fuller, step by step, do-it-in-your-own-project guide - Pat Bazeley's book on Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo. Please all, note that this book replaces the NVivo Qualitative Project Book, which Pat wrote with me, unless you are using the earlier version of NVivo. You can find out more about the new book from the Sage website or Pat's own website. cheers - and congratulations, Pat, ! Lyn
  10. Dear Newbie, NVivo won't mind if they all stay in one document, and you can do what you are wanting to do. But it might get pretty unwieldy for you. If the open endeds are brief, I'd not split into 300 documents, but maybe if there's a basis for splitting by site or stage of the project I would do so. However you do it, you're going to want to make a case node for each case, and assign the attributes to that case. Then you need to code at that node everything from that case. Preferably by autocoding! So it’s really worth while to format your document/s so that you can autocode –you’ll do that by using a heading style for each case’s name or ID. NVivo can recognise this when you autocode and codes everything from that heading to the next heading at the node you specify (the case node). Check out the tutorial on Coding on my website tutorials. The attributes for that case can be given to the case node as soon as the node is created. (That’s tutorial 3 .) If later you code something more from that case at that node, it will be associated with those attributes. You can do this simply by importing a table of the case names and attributes if you have one. Sounds simple! Of course, as with anything on computer all you have to do is get it right, preferably first time . This is particularly true of autocoding - the formatting of headings needs to be consistent, and the instructions accurate. You can make a big mess really fast with autocoding! Always test drive a tiny bit of document first to check that what you thought was a heading is, and that the coding is happening where you intend it to go. If you get stuck, you might be helped by working with an online tutor who would look at your data and assist directly - a lot of the trainers will do that work. You'll find them on the QSR website under Support. Hope that gets you started, cheers, Lyn
  11. Isabelle, perhaps you need to work out why you'd do such line by line examination of the text, and what you would want to record as a result? There are several very different approaches to Grounded Theory these days, and the texts will give you a clearer idea of these. Before you go on, you need to work out why on earth one would do this! It's highly timeconsuming, and can be very frustrating - I've often been in groups that didn't get beyond the first page after an hour. But it is a wonderful way of immersing yourself in the text whilst getting up off it by comparison and reflection. My own favorite account is in a book by Strauss called Qualitative Analysis for Social Sciences, (1987) where he gives an extended transcript of a line by line coding session with a detailed record of what is going on at each stage when a line or lines is focussed on. (pp 83 - 108). It's helpful to hear the voices discussing the text, and then see what the researcher is trying to do - for many this is more useful than a lot of rules about what you should do. Now back to your original question. NVivo doesn't have a particular tool to do line by line interpretation - the researcher is doing the interpreting! But it offers many tools to record codes (at nodes) and do coding of the relevant lines at them, or as Carlos points out, any other chunk of text). It will let you write annotations or memos about the nodes that seem significant and link those to the relevant lines. Possibly the best way to get an idea of the range of relevant tools is to go scan the tutorials - either the interactive help files with the software or the tutorials I've prepared - at the Sage site. for Handling Qualitative Data. Once you sort out the purposes of the process, you'll find there are many ways the software will help you create and manage the ideas that it produces. To take just one example, from your most recent message, you'll not expect that each line will have a unique node - to have thousands of such nodes wouldn't assist you at all. Rather, you'll make nodes for more abstract concepts, and themes and thoughts will recur, and you'll gather at the node the many passages related to it. Then the themes and thoughts will themselves start gathering into groups and trees that represent the clusters and clumps of ideas. I hope this helps cheers Lyn
  12. Dear all, I've had personal messages from some folk who saw Leonie's message but not mine a ways down and wanted to know where to get these materials. The pdf's are hosted on QSR's server. Here are the links: The ten tutorials can be used directly from the resources website at Sage Publications. Or to download (careful! It's a 112 page document!) click here. The "Up and Running" handbook is described more fully on my own website . To download (24 pages) click here. Thanks to all those who've written nice things about these free materials. I've been delighted that they have proved so useful to so many users. cheers Lyn
  13. Dear all, Another great conference with emphasis on workshops and debates is coming up in May, in Madison, for those wanting to discuss issues of teaching and learning with software. The message from the organisers is posted below, with links. cheers, Lyn ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Please consider joining us at the 3rd bi-annual conference in our series on teaching qualitative methods. The conferences is sponsored by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and QSR International. The links below provide information on the conference agenda and on the following training sessions. Chris Thorn ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 2007 Teaching Qualitative Methods “Building the Infrastructure for Quality Graduate Education” Co-hosted by Beth Graue, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction and Associate Director for Graduate Education Chris Thorn, Assistant Scientist, Value-Added Research Center and Director of Technical Services Conference Agenda Dates - May 11th & 12th Workshop/Training Dates - May 13th & 14th Workshop leaders are Lyn Richards and Beth Graue (NVivo 7 Intro 2 days), David Woods (Transana 2 days), Kristi Jackson and Paul Dempster (NVivo Advanced Techniques 1 day and Graduate Research Methods using NVivo 1 day), Chris Thorn (Mixed Methods 1 day), Linda Gilbert and Dan Kaczynski (Exploring the Integration of QDA software into College Courses ½ day and Examining Quality in Qualitative Research: Research Methods using NVivo 1 day.)
  14. Dear All, The ten detailed teach yourself tutorials for NVivo 7, and the "Up and Running" handbook I wrote to get researchers started in their own project, are both now available from QSR's download site. It's been great chatting to the constant flow of people requesting that I send the pdf's - but this gives more direct access and provides me with a bit more time to get on with more writing (But please do still feel free to email me if you want to talk about these materials.) The pdf's are hosted on QSR's server. Here are the links: The ten tutorials can be used directly from the resources website at Sage Publications. Or to download (careful! It's a 112 page document!) click here. The "Up and Running" handbook is described more fully on my own website . To download (24 pages) click here. Thanks to all those who've written nice things about these free materials. I've been delighted that they have proved so useful to so many users. Warmest wishes from hot Australian summer, Lyn
  15. Dear all, This is the sort of topic you shouldn't buy into late at night - but I couldn't resist. You've had some good advice, Daniel, and it implies you need to do some methodological thinking about why you're coding - coding absolutely must be purposive or it becomes ritualistic, boring, timeconsuming and life threatening! Well, yes, I do have some strong views on this and you can read 'em in my Handling Qualitative Data book. Why so strong? I've seen too many promising projects, even promising researchers, brought down by what I called at one Strategies conference "coding fetishism" - that is purposeless coding. And yes, part of my passion on the topic is guilt-driven: software, hence software developers, are not innocent here. Software codes so easily, and researchers who are not quite sure why you would be doing this but have been told to get all those documents coded can easily get into a data-disposal mode: if it moves, code it, somewhere! After which warnings, here are just five of what for me are core rules for coding. distinguish descriptive and analytical codes and approach coding quite differently depending on which you are using; talk to your nodes! always ask whether you really want this new category - and if so, ask it where it goes, so categories are located as you code; be parsimonious: I think of a good node system as shrink wrapped (like hardware items) - it's as big as it needs to be but as small as it can be; never get bored coding: stop and do something else, like exploring the emerging categories, writing a memo, following links to related material or walking the dog. Walking the dog is particularly good for what Barry Turner called theory construction. Coding is not just a clerical task that has to be knocked off - in most qualitative work, coding is where it's at - this is where the categories happen, and theories are born. So long as you stay excited with it. use your software. In particular, with NVivo, use the fact that you can code on from the node. So no coding is final; if uncertain don't waste energy agonising over finer categories but code at a broad node and revisit the node later, to code on to nodes that represent the dimensions of the concept you now can see. I hope that helps. Happy coding! When in doubt, ask, "Why am I doing this? What am I going to do with all this coded stuff and all these nodes? For any new category, "Did I want that? What does it have to do with my research questions?" If the answer is exciting, stop coding and write, link, think... Cheers from very hot Melbourne summer, Lyn
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