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NVivo Qualitative Data Analysis Software: NVivo Help &

An introduction to NVivo qualitative textual & audiovisual analysis software.

GSU Affiliates can contact me, Mandy Swygart-Hobaugh, for one-on-one assistance with NVivo, or to arrange NVivo training workshops.


NVivo Help Resources

Handouts that Mandy uses for her on-campus NVivo workshops:
NVivo 12 Plus for Windows Handouts
Help Resources from QSR (company that makes NVivo): NVivo Tutorial:

Working in a Research Team?

Four computer monitors with words Research Teams

There are various strategies for tracking team members’ work in NVivo. More info:

Some helpful tips for facilitating teamwork in NVivo:

  • It is recommended that all team members use the same version of the software -- i.e., everyone should be using either the Windows version or the Mac version, not a mixture. More info:
  • The simplest way for team members to collaborate on a standalone project is to work with a single project file -- but only one user can open and work with the project at any point in time.
  • If more than one user wants to work on a project at the same time, you can establish a 'master' project file, and then give a copy of the master project file to each team member. The team members work in the copied project files separately. Then, at regular intervals, the team leader imports the separate copied project files into the master project file. More info:
    • IMPORTANT: If you are merging files, the data files in the separate project files must match *EXACTLY, character by character* to have them merge as the same item. In other words, if one team member makes even a typo correction in their copy and another team member has not made that correction, then in the merge process NVivo will think the data files are two separate files.
  • Each team member should have their own user profiles in the project designated by consistent initials used at all times. More info:  and
  • Use the Coding Stripes to see coding done by specific researchers tagged with individual user profile initials.
  • Filter the content of a Node to see only the references coded by selected researchers.
  • NVivo provides a number of ways to check consistency or coder reliability:
    • Run a Coding Comparison query to compare coding done by two users (or two user groups) to measure the 'inter-rater reliability' or degree of agreement for coding between the users. More info:
    • IMPORTANT: ‚ÄčNVivo uses a character-by-character method of calculating inter-rater reliability and percent agreement/disagreement. Because of this, your team should determine a convention for coding upfront to account for this. For example, you might say ‘we will all code at the full sentence level, even if only part of the sentence applies to our coding theme.’

Upcoming NVivo Workshops @ GSU

computer monitor with word Workshops on it*Workshops for the NVivo 12 Plus for Windows version only*

NVivo 1 for Windows: Getting Started -- Basics of importing and coding different types of data sources. PREREQUISITE: Basic understanding of qualitative research methods is suggested, but not required. Watching this short tutorial on coding qualitative data before the workshop is recommended.

NVivo 2 for Windows: Exploring your Data -- Classifications, queries, visualizations, and reports to explore/analyze coded data sources. PREREQUISITE: NVivo 1 or equivalent experience (e.g., completing this tutorial).

Also see the available RECORDED WORKSHOPS


Should I use Windows or Mac Version of NVivo?

Apple logo and Windows logo with word abbreviation vs for versus in between themLimited Functionality of NVivo for Mac

Some key features NOT available on Mac version (as of 3/2/2020):

  • Automated Insights -- auto coding by themes, sentiment, or pattern-based
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Reports
  • Certain data visualizations -- cluster analysis, geovisualization, project map, sociograms (egocentric, network, or social media)

Options for running NVivo for Windows on a Mac computer:

The company that produces NVivo, QSR International, recommends choosing one of these parallels/virtual desktops to install on Macs to then run NVivo for Windows:

Research using NVivo

Methods section of a journal article with a magnifying glass on word NVivoRead others' work who used NVivo for data analysis -- see how they used it, what types of data they analyzed with it, how they wrote up their analysis, etc.

Or search for NVivo-based articles specific to your discipline: go to our A-Z Databases list and use the All Subjects dropdown menu to go to specific databases by subject.