This small selection of literature can help when deciding whether (and how) to use QDA software. It also provides a good starting point for getting into the academic discussion of QDA software. A comprehensive bibliography can be found on the CAQDAS Networking project’s site (here).
Lewins, A./ Silver, C. (2007): Using Software in Qualitative Research. A Step-by-Step Guide. London: Sage Publications.
This book provides essential tools & strategies for choosing a QDA software and presents typical work flows in several software titles. Though the program versions discussed are a bit outdated at this point, the book still shows the general strengths & functionality of these programs.
Empirical accounts of how researchers use QDA software
Fielding, N.G./ Lee, R.M. (1998). Computer Analysis and Qualitative Research. Sage: London
The classic empiric (and qualitative!) study concerning the impact of QDA software on qualitative research practice.
Mangabeira, W. C., Lee, R. M., & Fielding, N. G. (2004). Computers and Qualitative Research: Adoption, Use, and Representation. Social Science Computer Review, 22(2), 167–178.
An empiric account on how QDA software use is spreading & developing in an academic institution.
Gilbert, L. S. (2002). Going the distance : “closeness” in qualitative data analysis software. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 5(3), 215–228.
This article highlights several findings from the author’s empiric study of software users.
Critical discussions of the impact of QDA software
Coffey, A., Holbrook, B., & Atkinson, P. (1996). Qualitative Data Analysis: Technologies and Representations. Sociological Research Online, 1(1).
A critical assessment of QDA software; the authors explore possible methodological orthodoxies towards Grounded Theory, and the role of software within this tendency.
Lee, R. M., & Fielding, N. G. (1997). Qualitative Data Analysis: Representations of a Technology: A Comment on Coffey, Holbrook and Atkinson. Sociological Research Online, 1(4)
A critical response to the claims made by Coffey et al.
Bong, S. A. (2002). Debunking Myths in Qualitative Data Analysis. Forum Qualitative Social Research, 3(2).
An insightful reflection on working with QDA software, with a good discussion & overview concerning methodological & practical issues when doing analysis with software.
Carvajal, D. (2002). The Artisan ’ s Tools . Critical Issues When Teaching and Learning CAQDAS. Forum Qualitative Social Research, 3(2). Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/853
A critical assessment of how QDA software is taught to researchers – and what effects of this might be.
Johnston, L. (2006). Software and Method: Reflections on Teaching and Using QSR NVivo in Doctoral Research. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 9(5), 379–391.
This article condenses various strands of criticism towards QDA software and assesses effects of the disconnect between methods education & academic software training.
MacMillan, K., & Koenig, T. (2004). The Wow Factor: Preconceptions and Expectations for Data Analysis Software in Qualitative Research. Social Science Computer Review, 22(2), 179–186.
An article pointing out that QDA software use tends to be quite uncritically discussed in publications.
Richards, L. (2002). Qualitative computing — a methods revolution ? International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 5(3), 163–276.
A critical assessment of the innovative potential of QDA software – and as to how research practices & circumstances inhibit the adaption of these innovations.