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marybryson

N7?: How to View Codes In Context?

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I would like an answer to a simple question. Since, according to an email I received today from John Owen, the Chief Executive of QSR, my previous iterations of the question (and the postings of multiple colleagues) were removed by QSR from this forum because they were "based on some misinformation", I am hoping that in this public forum, this "misinformation" can expeditiously be rectified. I would so love to be told how to do what I need to do in N7, which is, after all, not something ambitious. I just want to be able to see my codes in context.

 

How, in NV7, do I see all the coding that I have done on a source text -- coding in context, which is, after all, the heart of qualitative data analysis -- on a page with the source text? I need to be able to look at the source, and see the codes - and sliding the cursor over a stripe will not work because I am working with 50 page+ interviews that take hours to read.

 

thanks,

 

Mary <Bryson>

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I agree with Mary Bryson that this is a retrograde step in terms of usability overall. This was a feeling shared by many at the recent training in Surrey with Lyn and Tom. They advised people to write to the forum so that QSR could address this as soon as possible. Apparently the numbers of expressions can affect QSR's design priorities so add your comments on this to let them get a picture of how their users feel.

 

The coding lanes are an interesting idea as is the coding density bar on the right hand side, which if you hover over it shows you all the codes at that point. The changeable colour of coding stripes in NV2 did confuse some people and this addresses that to a limited extent - though that limit of displaying 7 nodes in a document at once is likely to cause problems with all but the most elementarily coded documents.

 

Worse though is the inability to print out coding stripes. Many of the people I work with want to be able to print out their documents or node reports with all coding stripes showing. Reflection away from the computer is an important part of QDA processes - as well as reducing computer associated health risks. That the coding density bar has the information on all the coding means that the SQL side has been sorted out - now it's a matter of the reporting.

 

While working on it, please also enhance it to enable RTF printing of the text rather than the NV2 plain text landscape option.

 

Please, QSR, remedy these coding stripes issues as soon as possible. I'd like to move all of our users to NV7 as soon as possible, but don't feel I can do until this is sorted out.

 

Thanks.

 

Duncan

 

 

--------------------

===================================================

Duncan Branley duncan@gold.ac.uk

Research Applications Officer, Information Services

Goldsmiths' College, University of London

New Cross, LONDON SE14 6NW

Tel: +44 (0)20 7919 7708 Fax: +44 (0)20 7919 7556

===================================================

I was also at the Surrey event, and share the feeling that the restriction to 7 colour stripes is an unattractive feature of NVivo 7. I also raised this at an earlier preview of NVivo 7 at Surrey last year.

 

The point Mary and Duncan make about taking away a paper copy of a coding report to review it away from the desk is a real one, and I'm sure it's part of how many of us work.

 

I'd also make a plea for the ability to create a PDF version of the colour stripe report from within NVivo, to be able to share that with colleagues who don't have NVivo installed.

-------------

loutzl

post Today, 06:06 AM

Post #5

 

To only be able to see 7 nodes or codes makes the software nearly if not completely unusable for qualitative research in any type of context. I understand that this was a programming decision not

an operational decision. It shows a certain lack of understanding of coding by the programmers. For those of us who are on the operational end, and want to be able to not only use but teach Nvivo 7, this is a HUGE problem. QSR needs to listen to those of us on the operational end when we say this is not minor and no, it can't be lived without. How long will it take QSR to patch this?

 

Thanks Mary for bringing it our attention

---------------------------

alouie

post Today, 08:43 AM

Post #6

 

I have paid for NVivo 7 through UBC (though no license yet received) and am also extremely concerned about this limitation of the new version. It appears to be upgraded in some ways and but downgraded in some other crucial ways.

 

I would like the option of receiving a license for NVivo 2 until this problem with NVivo 7 is corrected. If this is not possible, I would like a refund.

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I was given three reasons for not including the functionality and I'm wondering what NVivo 2 users think about this:

 

1. The ability to display all coding stripes caused the software to crash.

 

2. We would have run out of colours to use for 60 coding stripes.

 

3. The screen would look too “messy” and confusing.

 

For my project, I'm not concerned about seeing colours or "messiness." MS Word can print out comments with balloons with the option to show lines connecting to text -- colours are not necessary, and the important information can be printed out.

 

However, I wouldn't want the software to crash all the time. I'm wondering -- does it crash only when using this function? If that's the case, I'd rather have the function, make sure everything was saved, and then take a risk using it each time. I can live with some crashing if I can predict when it happens.

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B) Hi all,

 

I was part of the unfortunate members that was told off for supporting the 7 (maximum) coding stripe function. I would like to share what i answered to John after that long email of his that wasn't that personalised after all (i just noticed we all got a copy of it with different headers). in relation to the 60 code colours (that pun was intended at me) i was refering to having 60 nodes and that it would be nice for me to have the chance to see/print my data and see different colours (i know we are not able to identify more than a good few, but it makes 'mental representations and imaginery' a lot easier).

 

finally, this response to John was the best I could come with while having a busy day at uni, so please feel free to add/limit my ideas.

 

cheers

 

 

now the answer to John.

 

 

First of all I would like to thank you for the personal message. I must admit that I am quite fascinated with the response and action taken against the ‘posting’ I submitted sometime this week.

 

On the one hand, I would like to reassure you that the posting had no bad intentions whatsoever, my department has just bought 6 licenses of Nvivo 7 (I think that is proof enough of my interest and promotion of your software).

 

On the other hand, I think that whatever you do or ‘do not’, in this case, publish in the forum is ultimately a Managerial decision and I honestly do not expect to have any influence over its contents. Nevertheless, I must express that I was quite taken aback with the measure since the purpose of the forum is to promote communication, share experiences and ‘grow’ alongside other potential users. From the ‘Approximately 300,000 individuals use QSR software from every area of the world’ having only 1311 active members with a total of 2,309 posts talks about an urgent need to improve the communication channels and activity within this area of your services.

 

On top of everything, I would like to suggest that ‘We also feel that your recent posting may have been based on some misinformation and perhaps some misunderstanding about QSR and they way we develop software’ is quite an extreme suggestion for what I commented on. Matter of fact is that the software ‘does not support more than 7 codes to be displayed at a given time’ and is not neither misinformative nor misunderstood.

 

Finally, I want to reiterate that I do not have any problems with the policies of QSR nor its products and that all I did in the forum was to express my mind, maybe I’ll be doing that in an scholarly manner from now on to avoid conflicting with your interests as a company.

 

 

 

In relation to this last paragrap I do have a slight concern with this 'policy' of having the chief executive worrying about some constructive criticism. :o

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It is great to receive feedback from users that are passionate about our Software. I would like to see more open discussion of what people like and dislike about NVivo 7. Please use the suggestions forum, every idea will be discussed at QSR and may appear in a future release of NVivo (a member of our software team may even contact you for further details about your suggestion).

 

It is important to note that NVivo 7 is a total redevelopment of NVivo 2 and N6. We have attempted to deliver the best possible qualitative software within time and resource constraints. NVivo 7 provides a software platform to rapidly extend and innovate new functionality for qualitative research. Developing NVivo 7 has involved working with qualitative research experts in determining how best to approach the needs of qualitative researchers in software, and working with a large number of beta testers in refining this functionality. The programming team do not make decisions independently of this wider NVivo 7 development community (as incorrectly mentioned) as all decisions are made by a team representing these different areas and interests.

 

Coding stripes - and the ability to view coding in context - is an area that we have attempted to approach in a totally new way to address issues with the previous generation of coding stripe solutions, both in our own and our competitors' software. This is an area we are aware needs further refinement to meet the expectations of all researchers.

 

The ability to print coding stripes was functionality not initially captured, but identified late during product development. The team was unable to incorporate this functionality by the release date, but please be assured it is high on our list of necessary improvements for NVivo 7.

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Thank you, Mary for keeping this alive.

 

I have to say that having my post removed (and the thread) was shocking, particularly without any notification until after the fact. It smacks of very bad directions for QSR which I for one would hate to see.

 

Passionate is an interesting word choice. As with others on this forum, we just want to make sure that any total re-write of the programs does not send us backward in functionality. It isn't a suggestion for the future as much as a very real concern about upgrading at all. So, is there a work around at this juncture? If not, the message from John Owen (and yes mine was personalised as well), said that this will not be a part of any update that is to arrive any time soon. That seems to be contradicted a bit by Adam, our colleague from QSR. What kind of a time would be looking at to fix this? This will make a very big difference to whether this software upgrade is recommended now, or when it is "fixed."

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

 

Lisa

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Hi Mary, Duncan and fellow NVivo users,

 

I've clarified with John Owen that it is not simply a concern about how the Coding Stripes work, and the inability to print them out, but a broader issue of obtaining a printout of a document's text with a report of the coding present for that text. I emphasised that this is essentional functionality that is present in both N6 and NV2. He has indicated that QSR are looking into this and he will get back to me so either QSR or I will report back on this issue - hopefully soon.

 

Cheers,

 

Leonie

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but a broader issue of obtaining a printout of a document's text with a report of the coding present for that text. I emphasised that this is essentional functionality that is present in both N6 and NV2.

 

Leonie

 

Thanks for this, Leonie. That is absolutely the problem. In a major upgrade of software, I really do expect the major functions of the program to be maintained. I have purchased two site licenses for NV7, and I am looking forward to spending lots of time with it. However, I will not actually be using it until NV7 can do what NV2 can do -- which is to show me the codes in the context of the source document. I find it utterly incredible that none of the folks who did beta testing pointed out the lack of this "essential functionality". Maybe I really do spend too much time with my data :P

 

 

Mary

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Hi,

 

I'm not sure of everything that has been going on here, but I've read the post on the forum I felt I had to write something as I am using NVivo 7 with good results for my BA project. Maybe I am working differently to everybody else, but I don't see the need to see the text (or words) that have been coded to each and every node all at once, word by word. What I am interested in is the completeness of coding and how much coding has been done with a document and to which nodes....and the bigger picture. ANd more importantly, what that means, or doesn't mean.

 

I've only been using this software for just the last 10 days trial\and I have been using queries to see what and how much of each subject transcript has been coded and by which nodes, and what text..maybe you just need to dig a bit deeper to get what you want. I'm not sure what else you would need?!

Anyway, just my opinion. If the senior staff at QSR are involved in this then maybe I just don't grasp the problem. I'm a Microsoft kid - and I open new software expecting to be able to use it....and I have been.

 

I actually came to this forum to see if I could export a diagram to Visio or other software but Still don't know. If anyone knows, let me know...

Natalie

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Thanks for this, Leonie. That is absolutely the problem. In a major upgrade of software, I really do expect the major functions of the program to be maintained. I have purchased two site licenses for NV7, and I am looking forward to spending lots of time with it. However, I will not actually be using it until NV7 can do what NV2 can do -- which is to show me the codes in the context of the source document. I find it utterly incredible that none of the folks who did beta testing pointed out the lack of this "essential functionality". Maybe I really do spend too much time with my data :P

Mary

 

I'll add my thanks Leonie. Mary....I was not a beta tester, but I did get a chance to work with a pre-release version at a training session. I have to admit that while I did notice and agree that the lack of the ability to print out coding stripes was a problem, I feel completely stupid that I did not notice the inability get more detailed coding reports from documents. I am in the process of shifting an evaluation team from NVivo 2 to 7 in order to take advantage of the embedded graphics and improved query tools in NVivo 7. That is likely to come to a screeching halt on Monday, if I cannot think of a new way to communicate with my team and funders without coding reports. They have always been an important part of my work. I guess the lack of a printer at the training I did contributed to the issue not coming up.

 

Tom and Lyn Richards are actually in town right now teaching at a training I'm hosting. I'll go ask if I am just missing things. There may be a better way to communicate with folks not using the software. I sure hope so.

 

Chris

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I'm glad to see that open and non-intemperate comment has been permitted on the forum once again. I have no problem with a moderator removing abusive postings (in fact I think they ought to), but could not see that in any of the temporarily censored postings last week. Thanks, QSR - and thanks Adam Long for reiterating it publicly!

 

I too received the email from Johnn Owen, but don't feel it proper to comment on it in public since it was a private email to which I responded privately.

 

I think the radical rewrite has brought some useful additions - being able to save queries to run against newly imported/coded data, the single project file and the inbuilt import/merge functionality being my three favourites.

 

I can understand alouie's suggested workaround of the huge computational load required to produce what we want. But I would caution against building in an instability into the programme against which the users would have to remember to take protective measures in advance (ie saving). That way much agony lies I fear. Perhaps another solution would be to flash up a dialog box when such a report was requested warning the users that 'on a document of x pages with up to y different nodes it takes on average z minutes to produce the report'. The user could then decide whether to go ahead or not.

 

This problem of computational load isn't unique to NV7 though. I've had users calling me in panic with NV2 saying that their documents have been truncated, when all they were doing was viewing them with coding stripes and not beeing able to scroll down immediately. Perhaps our expectations of the instantaneous need to be managed better by software design. With no information you can't tell if a programme has well and truly hung or if it's taking a while to actually run the command requested.

 

I can't tell from Mary Bryson's reposting of the original messages who suggested creating a PDF coding report, but rather like that idea too, though different paper sizes might cause problems with the graphic elements there.

 

Duncan

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PS to my post above:

 

After working though this with most of the trainers who are attending the sessions I am hosting in Wisconsin, the best we could come up with to get at something close to the old coding detail report was a group find against a set of documents (or a single document) that shows the coding for a set of nodes (or single nodes). I could then do a series of node reports to get the content I need.

 

There is a coding summary report, but it only reports character numbers. What I would really like would be the ability to do the group find to show a subset of coding for a subset of sources and print that all out.

 

Chris

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I must say I am generally releived to see my concern shared by so many users. I've been working with Nvivo for a couple of years. Lots of data involved: 100 MB nvp file, hunderds of documents, 200 case nodes, 100 tree nodes, etc. The inability to view documents and see the various differend codes makes (which was - with patience - a workable option in Nvivo2) is a serious drawback. I am glad it's high on the priority list of QSR as I am now in the midst of serious analysis of the data. Hopefully this means it might be remedied in some way in the coming service pack1???

Hans Vermaak

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I just started using N7 after having used N6 for awhile. I'm shocked that one of my favorite features - printing coding stripes - is not available. I'm please to read in the thread that there are plans to correct this. I hope that happens soon - it is one of the most useful parts of the program.

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I find it really interesting that a whole, sophisticated program which offers incredible possibilities for complex analysis of data can be dismissed because it doesn’t provide a function that is essentially achievable by working with pencil and paper (print a doc in word, sit and write codes in the margin)! - especially, when there are so many things that the software can do that can’t be done on paper.

This is not to say that being able to see all of one’s coding alongside text is unimportant, but the issue needs to be seen in the context of the whole analysis task (excuse the pun).

Actually there are two issues that have been raised, and each has slightly different ramifications – re coding stripes, and coding reports:

1) Coding stripes (or an equivalent reporting function) are indeed useful if one is sharing one’s coding in a team environment or with a supervisor – that I totally agree. I question their usefulness (or at least, how essential they are), however, for reviewing coding. Coding can be seen in context (using the context options on the RMB) – so that is not the actual issue here. What is wanted is the ability to gain an overview of one’s coding on a document, and/or to take coding away from the computer and see it elsewhere. I wonder how much information one gains from glancing through a doc (or node) with the coding stripes on? My interest would be perhaps more toward being able to identify through a node set the particular coding stripes I would want to see (in which case, 7 would probably be plenty – I just don’t want to have to go through the process of individually selecting them each time): then I can review without information overload, checking in relation to some specific question or interest on my mind.

If I print off coding info and take it away from the computer to review, I inevitably end up wanting to change something, soon ditch the printed version, and go back to working on screen because then I can immediately gain further (contextual) info or make changes. So – I almost never print, especially basic docs or nodes; it is just more useful and efficient to be able to do it on screen. I do make a concession on this point for people, say, who spend time on public transport where they have time but can’t use a computer.

2) Reports are currently somewhat of a disaster area in NV7 – I agree with Leonie on this. They will print out the text of a node or doc OK, if you find thsoe useful (select multiple reports for simultaneous insertion in a Word doc if you want a whole lot of nodes in one doc), but the workaround for a matrix text report is pretty horrendous, and problems in the structure of the reports module are particularly evident in listing nodes where the use of text boxes makes it unable to be edited. (Note: my comments above re the limited usefulness of printing out text reports for review purposes holds here too.)

To make a coding report on a document effective, perhaps one way would be to make a report not unlike the old N6 type where the codes that applied in a paragraph are listed at the end of the paragraph – this could then possibly also substitute for the coding striped option (easier to save/print than coding stripes). This is just a thought. What is really needed here is some well thought out input on what people really want/need a report to look like, in the context of how they’re going to use it , and then to relay those (well argued) ideas to QSR (by whom I am not employed, by the way) e.g. through the suggestions forum (or by email).

There is functionality we took for granted in NV2 (and indeed all earlier versions of N and NVivo) that has been lost in NV7 some of which is quite critical to analysis (and the subject of numerous emails from me to QSR!). The important response, it seems to me, is to keep informing QSR of what is needed (rationally, rather than emotively), so that the messages are heard in time for development of the next rev. (or earlier for patching).

So yes – coding stripes showing all nodes are useful, but as I see it, they are not the ‘be-all and end-all’ of software usability. Being able to locate data, and to generate and ask questions about one's data (and in return get useful material for interpretation) is.

Pat

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I am also a new user to NVivo & haven't used any of the previous versions. I came on here becuase I wanted to find out if there was a way to print off documents showing all the coding stripes, as this would be very useful for me - especially when discussing work with my supervisors. I was disappointed to find out that this used to be available but now isn't. I will add my name to the list of people who would like to have this function back in the near future if possible! :-)

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Hello-

 

Has anyone discovered if the service pack 1 addresses any of these concerns? I don't think it does but thought I should double check. The post about the service pack says that these issues will be addressed in the future, but I need to ask, when? Without better reporting and multiple coding, N7 is a site license that remains nearly unusable to me at this juncture.

 

Thanks, Lisa

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Hi Lisa

 

Service Pack 1 does not address the particular issues in this forum topic, but does address other issues and is well worth installing. A description of the contents of SP1 can be found here.

 

Please be assured that these concerns have been heard. However, it would be premature to make any announcements until our solution to these issues has been designed. There will be a formal announcement regarding the content and timing of Service Pack 2 within the next week.

 

 

Kind regards

 

 

Daniel Buffett

QSR International

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I am a PhD student and have been requested by my supervisor to provide a printed source document with coding highlighted. I could not find out how to do this, and from what I have seen in this forum, it appears that Nvivo7 does not have the ability for me to do this. I would appreciate confirmation of this.

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You can print a document with coding stripes directly from the screen, although it will print across several pages (see discussions under Q&A).

Pat

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I find it very disfunctional to not be able to see coding stripes on the same page with the source text, especially in a printed version of my coded source text. I don't need colors for codes. I do need to see them connected to the text to which they are coded. My research team and I want to be able to print out documents with all coding stripes showing. Our analysis includes time away from the computer where we study the categories in the context of the text.

 

Others have mentioned the balloon option in Track Changes as a model that might be used to connect text and code. NVIVO 2 accomplished this connection too. If the concern is it looks too "messy" perhaps it could be an option we could turn on or off as we do Track Changes.

 

I note that 2 years ago Adam Long, Chief Technology Officer, said "The ability to print coding stripes was functionality not initially captured, but identified late during product development. The team was unable to incorporate this functionality by the release date, but please be assured it is high on our list of necessary improvements for NVivo 7." Are you near a solution to this problem or has it been resolved?

 

Currently I find I can either print and look at text without connected visible codes or I can look at node content of one or more nodes--the equivalent of sound bites with limited context. Please advise how I can have both.

 

E. Hildebrandt

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I have to admit that I don't follow the forum much any more. I have a rule set up to notify me of changes to this thread.

 

I will be interested to see if this feature is added back in Version 8. After 15 years of using QSR products, I pretty much have had to abandon NVivo 7 for my own work. Aside for an inability actually see coding in context - arguably the primary analytical purpose of a qualitative software package, new features in V8 around quantitative notions of intercoder reliability are not particularly relevant to the sort of interdisciplinary work I do either. I would not expect high degree agreement when I have an urban planner and a elementary reading specialist code a set of documents. That's actually the point. I want a variety of insights.

 

I don't do as much training as I used to, but I do a fair amount of training of faculty, scientists, and graduate students here at the University of Wisconsin. While I use NVivo to teach the basics of qualitative analysis with software, that really based on my familiarity with the tool. I can no longer recommend it. I spend a substantial amount of my training time with the CAQDAS framework for choosing a qualitative analysis package. I think link describe a series of analytical practices and discuss how each of the major packages support those practices.

 

We are looking at whether or not to upgrade to the new version. I guess we will treat it like we treat Microsoft software. We never, ever upgrade before service pack 1. With most of the office productivity tools we actually skip generations because the improvements are not worth suffering the pain of upgrading. I'll be interested to see what the sense of the forum is after the new version ships tomorrow.

 

Chris

 

A former Nud*ist and NVivo enthusiast

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