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Thread: Grounded theory and Atlas.ti vs. NUD*IST

  1. #1
    Susanne Friese
    Guest

    Grounded theory and Atlas.ti vs. NUD*IST



    Diane Westerhuis wrote:

    > Anybody care to elaborate on the grounded theory comment or comment on my
    >

    This is a bit of a tricky issue since of course the developers of both
    ATLAS.ti and Nud*ist claim that you can use a grounded theory approach
    when using their program and that they both have developed their program -
    at least partly - based on this approach.

    I would argue that it is true that you can adopt either program to use a
    grounded theory approach, but that Atlas.ti lends itself to it a bit more
    intuitively - this at least is my experience, others may think
    differently. When you use Nud.ist 4, you are no longer restricted to force
    your coding into a hierarchical tree structure by assigning free codes
    (=open coding). If you reach the step of building relationships between
    your codes (apart from hierarchical relationships), you can export your
    coding scheme into either Decision Explorer or Inspiration and continue
    your work there.

    Thus one cannot say that a grounded theory is possible within one program
    but not within the other. The programs are flexible enough so that you can
    adopt them to your needs. I would advise that you try out the demo
    versions of both (or even others that are on offer) to find out which
    program works more closely to the way you like to think and work.
    That might be more important. In addition, depending on the nature of your
    data there might be other good arguments for using the one or the other
    program.


    Susanne



    --
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Susanne Friese
    Qualitative Research & Consulting
    http://www.quarc.de
    Alte Dorfstr. 71A
    70599 Stuttgart, Germany

    Lehrstuhl für Haushalts-und Konsumökonomik
    Universität Hohenheim (530/1)
    70593 Stuttgart, Germany

    Tel: +49 (0)711 45 00 21
    Fax: +49 (0)711 459 2870



  2. #2
    Ludwig Haeck
    Guest

    Grounded theory and Atlas.ti vs. NUD*IST



    Susanne Friese wrote:

    > Diane Westerhuis wrote:
    >
    > > Anybody care to elaborate on the grounded theory comment or comment on my
    > >
    >
    > This is a bit of a tricky issue since of course the developers of both
    > ATLAS.ti and Nud*ist claim that you can use a grounded theory approach
    > when using their program and that they both have developed their program -
    > at least partly - based on this approach.
    >
    > I would argue that it is true that you can adopt either program to use a
    > grounded theory approach, but that Atlas.ti lends itself to it a bit more
    > intuitively - this at least is my experience, others may think
    > differently. When you use Nud.ist 4, you are no longer restricted to force
    > your coding into a hierarchical tree structure by assigning free codes
    > (=open coding). If you reach the step of building relationships between
    > your codes (apart from hierarchical relationships), you can export your
    > coding scheme into either Decision Explorer or Inspiration and continue
    > your work there.
    >
    > Thus one cannot say that a grounded theory is possible within one program
    > but not within the other. The programs are flexible enough so that you can
    > adopt them to your needs. I would advise that you try out the demo
    > versions of both (or even others that are on offer) to find out which
    > program works more closely to the way you like to think and work.
    > That might be more important. In addition, depending on the nature of your
    > data there might be other good arguments for using the one or the other
    > program.
    >
    > Susanne
    >

    I would like to add to Susanne's suggestion: get hold of the book 'Computer
    Programs for Qualitative Data Analysis, A Software Sourcebook' written by Eben
    A. Weitzman and Matthew B. Miles and published by Sage Publications.

    The book gives in layman's terms some very good comparative functional analysis
    between software packages which can be categorised into Word Processors, Text
    Retrievers, Textbase Managers, Code-and-Retrieve Programs, Code-Based
    Theory-Builders and Conceptual Network-Builders. Besides the comparative
    analysis, the book also makes very good recommendations in chapter 2 about 'How
    to Choose Software'.

    The programs compared include:

    1. Text Retrievers:
    Metamorph, Orbis, Sonar Professional, The Text Collector, WordCruncher,
    ZyIndex.

    2. TextBase Managers:
    AskSam, Folio Views, Tabletop, MAX.

    3. Code-And-retrieve:
    HyperQual2, Kwalitan, Martin, QUALPRO, The Ethnograph.

    4. Code-Based Theory-Builders:
    Aquad, Atlas/Ti, HyperResearch, Nud-Ist, QCA.

    5. Conceptual Network Builders:
    Inspiration, MECA, MetaDesign, SemNet.

    As one can see, there are a lot of players out there. The authors (pp228-229)
    are full of praise for Atlas/Ti:
    "It should be obvious by now that ATLAS/ti is an extraordinary
    program...
    We generally find ourselves comparing other ...packages with
    Atlas/ti, and Atlas/ti
    keeps coming out on top."

    However, for the purpose of Atlas/Ti vs Nud*Ist comparison, the summary given
    by the authors (pp228-229) seem to support Susanne's view. One has to look at
    your research needs. I understand that a revised edition of the book is on its
    way. I doubt whether it will give more clear-cut answers if you're looking for
    someone else to make the choice for you.

    My personal feeling on the topic is that the two packages have both their own
    strengths and weaknesses. They will both continue to grow in functionality. To
    me the important issue revolves around three key issues - support, support, and
    more support! As a software developer and end user, I see both sides of the
    coin daily. A good package can only live up to its potential if it gets full
    'all-round' support. My perception says that Thomas and our discussion group
    via the Internet give a heck of a lot of support. I have a lever arch file
    (almost three quarters full) with e-mails in it discussing and supporting
    Atlas/Ti in a very constructive way, frank and open - even the bugs are
    acknowledged, which saves time and frustrations >:). I believe that to most
    participants, those asking and those answering questions, this support makes
    all the difference. In my twenty-three years of experience, software packages
    that don't get that kind of support tend to become 'Shelf Ware'. So what's the
    support for Nud*Ist like out there? It may help to find out. I have one e-mail
    on file that says it could be a lot better compared to Atlas/ti. Any other
    inputs on that one?

    Remember, at the end of the day you have to live with your choice. So do your
    homework.

    Ludwig



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