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NVivo logo Coding in NVivo v.2

Authors of this page: Graham R. Gibbs and Celia Taylor

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 30th June 2005

 

 

 

 

Symbols and Conventions

Coding

You can then select sections of text and assign or link them to these a priori codes. On the other hand NVivo also supports developing coding directly from the text, where you select some text and then assign a new or existing code to it. One special case of this is in vivo coding where the term or phrase you select is not only coded to the new code but also becomes its name.

NVivo call codes 'nodes' and distinguish free nodes and tree nodes. Typically when you first create a node it is a free node which is just kept in a list. Tree nodes have all the properties of free nodes, but in addition they are organized into a hierarchy or tree shown in the Node Explorer like the file and folder hierarchy in Windows Explorer. Free nodes can be made into Tree nodes (and vice versa).

You can create, delete, merge and move codes and change the text to which they refer. At any time you can browse or display the coded text and change the coding or view it in context. Codes can also be searched and in this way, along with an inspection of linked data, like memos, the researcher can ask questions of the data and build and test theories.

Creating new nodes

Use this approach where you want to create nodes without referring to the text, perhaps because you are guided by some existing theory as to what you expect to find. As you create nodes (by whatever approach) don't forget to keep a record, either as a comment or in a memo, of what the node represents and what your thinking about it is.

To create a new node (code)

  1. In the project pad click Nodes tab. click Create a node button to open the Create Node dialog. See Figure 1.
  2. click the Free or Tree tab.
  3. Type in a name and optional description and click Create.
  4. If you are creating a tree node and you have already created some branches then double click on a parent node to make the new node a child.

Alternatively,

  1. In the project pad click in the Explore Nodes button
  2. In the Node Explorer right click 'free' folder click Create Free Node.
  3. A new node is inserted below the Free node and indented one level.
  4. click its name. You can now type in a proper name for it.
  5. Do the same for tree nodes, right click the 'Tree' folder.

 

NVivo Create Node dialog

Figure 1. NVivo Create Node dialog

 

Create new nodes from the transcripts, including in vivo codes

This is the common, inductive approach. You read the text, get an idea for a code and create a new code and code the text immediately.

To create new nodes from transcripts, including in vivo codes

  1. Select the text you want to code in the Document Browser.
  2. Type the name of the node you want to create. You will find that if you have some text selected, when you type, what you type is entered into the node pull-down menu in the Speed Coding Bar at the bottom of the Browser window. See Figure 2.
  3. click Code button.

Alternatively,

  1. Select just a word or short phrase and code it in vivo
  2. Just click InVivo

 

 

Creating a new node and coding selected text to it in NVivo

Figure 2. Creating a new node and coding selected text to it in NVivo

 

Examining existing nodes

Once you have created some nodes and/or done some coding, use this approach to explore what nodes you have created.

To examine existing nodes

  1. In the Project Pad click Nodes tab, click Explore Nodes button to open the Node Explorer. See Figure 3.
  2. The Node Explorer acts rather like the Windows Explorer. On the left is a list of nodes. This is an expandable and collapsible listing and will reflect the hierarchy of any tree nodes you have created.

 

NVivo Node Explorer

Figure 3. NVivo Node Explorer.

Using existing nodes for coding

This is the most common situation, where you have developed most nodes and are simply working through the documents coding their contents.

To use existing nodes for coding

  1. In the Document Browser find and select the text you want to code.
  2. click pull down list in the Speed Coding Bar at the bottom of the window to select the node required. click the Code button.

Or,

  1. If the node you want is not one you have recently used then use the Coder. See Figure 4.
  2. To open the coder click the Coder button (NVivo Coder button) which appears to the right of the Speed Coding Bar or click Coding:Coder...
  3. click code you want to use and click Code button near the bottom of the coder window.

 

NVivo coder dialog

Figure 4. NVivo coder dialog