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How to create a proxy (external) for a portion another file that exists in the library? [Lit Review]

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My question is about NVivo 12 on MacOS. So, I recently decided to use NVivo for my literature review and I have run into this problem about book chapters. As you know, books that consist of collection of articles each of which is authored by different scholars are pretty much a usual thing in academy. And, these books usually can be downloaded in one piece --if you can download them at all. As such, I want to create new external-like proxies for chapters in these books on the go. How can I do this the most efficient way possible?

Thank you for your response in advance. I am looking forward to your recommendations.

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Hi Alf,

There are some workarounds you can try depending on how you are working with the book file. If this is a file that you want to import into a project, then you can try splitting the file into seperate files for each chapter and importing each. However if you are only creating an External project item for the book in your project, you could create an external for each chapter instead. For more details on Externals please refer to the link below:


I hope this helps. ^NB

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Hi, thank you for the answer.

So, is this only way to work around this issue is to manually split every book into its chapters and then import them into NVivo one by one? This is very inconveniencing indeed.

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Hello Alf,

Nvivo makes lit-review process quite straightforward and easy.

After trying several strategies, I decided that the best way is to import your lit-resources from a reference manager.

Most of the time I also obtain books that has several chapters from other authors.

Since it is required to cite each chapter individually, I create separate records for each chapter in Zotero.

However, instead of splitting the book into its chapters, which obviously take too much of a time as you mentioned, I simply attach the whole book into every record.

While coding my resources, I just code the relevant chapter. 

If you also have a license for the Windows version, framework matrices is by far the best tool available for scholars, which allows you to see what each author said about each concept (code) that you would like to address in your research.

If you only have Mac license, you can still create a matrix coding query, then open each cell and copy the content to a Numbers/Excel file.

Hope this helps, 


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