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Differentiating between codes, themes, and nodes

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Hello all,


Can I use NVIVO to code my data in 2 or 3 sweeps? The first time using nodes as codes, the second time creating higher order nodes as themes?


I have been reading this very useful paper, which contains a step-by-step guide to doing thematic analysis; http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/11735/2/thematic_analysis_revised...


The paper defines a code as: "the most basic segment, or element, of the raw data or information that can be assessed in a meaningful way regarding the phenomenon"


Whereas a theme: "captures something important abut the data in relation to the research question, and represents some level of patterned response or meaning within the data set"


According to the NVIVO website "A node is a collection of references about a specific theme, place, person or other area of interest."


Are themes essentially the highest level nodes, and codes the lowest level nodes?


Many thanks in advance!

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In NVivo, there are two types of nodes that you can code to – theme and case nodes. Coding involves gathering all the material about a theme or case into a node.


Theme nodes are the themes or topics from your source material whereas cases are the 'units of observation' in your research study. Cases might represent people, places, events, organizations or other entities that you want to analyze and compare.


You cannot classify theme nodes with attributes or demographic data and If you want to assign attributes to your nodes, you should create cases instead.


For more details about coding, refer to the following help link:




For more details on theme and case nodes, refer to:







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