Articles by Nicholas Woolf

Articles by author: Nicholas Woolf

Calling for a revolution – we have to get rid of codes

Calling for a revolution – we have to get rid of codes
By Nicholas Woolf on Jan 17, 2019 at 06:17 PM in CAQDAS commentary

Codes are the example par excellence for our constant banging on about strategies and tactics. Reminder: strategies are what you plan to do, and tactics are how you plan to do it. When using a CAQDAS program, the tactics are very different in nature from the analytic strategies. A strategy might be to compare the men and women respondents in a study by separately conceptualizing the male responses from the female responses. The tactic to fulfil it will depend on the CAQDAS package you use, but it will involve software tools that allow you to collect together selected items of data that have been tagged or grouped by you in the software so that you can compare them on screen or in printed form. Whatever the tools in your chosen software, they will have nothing to do with the subtleties of male and female characteristics or gender issues. Instead they will involve processing data in the software to accomplish your purpose. These are two extremely different ways of thinking, but because both are called ‘coding’ you unconsciously and unhelpfully think about them in the same way. For this reason we should stop using the term ‘code’ for the strategies level of our conceptualization work.

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Translation in Five-Level QDA: What's in a name? Actually, quite a lot

Translation in Five-Level QDA: What's in a name? Actually, quite a lot
By Nicholas Woolf on Jul 07, 2017 at 07:00 PM in Five-Level QDA in practice

"Translation" is the key concept in our Five-Level QDA method, so it's important to know what it means. The word just showed up in the title of Susanne Friese's blog post on the ATLAS.ti website - "Translating the process of open/initial coding in Grounded Theory" - and Susanne ended by inviting readers "to read more about this process of translation" in our textbooks on the Five-Level QDA method coming from Routledge in September. But as Susanne uses the word "translation" in a very different way from us we want to clear it up right away.

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Making digital tools sexier

Making digital tools sexier
By Nicholas Woolf on Jun 16, 2016 at 01:20 PM in CAQDAS commentary

Digital tools for qualitative data analysis are powerful and sexy, but does everyone know? And what can we / should we do about it...here are some musings from some recent conference experiences.

Who would travel half way across a continent to a conference with less than 30 participants? Christina and I were recently at the ICQI 2016 conference in Champaign at the University of Illinois. Norm Denzin, the founder and organizer of ICQI, told me 1,305 qualitative researchers attended this year...

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What is Five-Level QDA all about?

What is Five-Level QDA all about?
By Nicholas Woolf on May 18, 2016 at 07:30 PM in Five-Level QDA issues & ideas

You may be wondering what Five-Level QDA is all about. Perhaps you're thinking it's a new qualitative data analysis (QDA) approach, like discourse analysis, grounded theory or thematic analysis. It's not. Here in a nutshell is what it's all about.

TOOLS AND MINDSETS

Those of us who do QDA, whatever approach we use, all have to choose how to go about it, how to get the thoughts we have when we read data out of our heads and on to, what? Paper, a whiteboard, a set of index cards? Not likely anymore. Almost everyone uses a computer in some way, which is just another kind of tool, like highlighter pens, or scissors to cut up interview transcripts. But

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