Choosing an appropriate CAQDAS package
We provide a range of information about CAQDAS packages and these materials are designed to help researchers make informed choices between packages, to plan for their effective use and to manipulate their tools in creative ways to meet methodological and practical needs.
If you are new to the area of computer assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS), we recommend you read the choosing a CAQDAS package first.
Choosing a CAQDAS package: overview of common functionality (PDF) provides a summary of the available software as a starting point for thinking about which package may be most suited to the type of project and data you are working with and the way you like to work. It focuses mainly on those traditionally categorised as CAQDAS packages and highlights some key distinguishing elements in order to provide you with an early impression of each package. It is meant to be read ahead of the individual software reviews.
The following reviews provide up-to-date comparative information about selected CAQDAS packages. We review both commercially available and free/open source products and aim to raise awareness about the less well-known options as well as the leading packages which are well established in the field.
The individual software reviews are intended to be read in conjunction with the ‘choosing a CAQDAS package working paper’ which provides a more general commentary of common CAQDAS functionality. Review documents do not provide an exhaustive account of all the features and functions provided by the software but are designed to highlight some of its distinguishing elements.
The Comment section at the end details our opinions on certain aspects of functionality and usability. In writing these reviews we aim to address the most frequently asked questions that we at the CAQDAS Networking Project receive. We recommend that you also visit the Software Developer websites as part of your decision-making process, where you can access and download demonstration versions.
- ATLAS.ti review (PDF)
- DEDOOSE review (PDF)
- Delve review (PDF)
- Digital replay system (DRS) review (PDF)
- DiscoverText review (PDF)
- f4Analyse review (PDF)
- HyperRESEARCH review (PDF)
- Leximancer review (PDF)
- MAXQDA review (PDF)
- MiMeG review (PDF)
- NVivo review (PDF)
- Transana review (PDF)
- QDA Miner review (PDF)
- Quirkos review (PDF)
- webQDA review (PDF)
- WordSmith Tools review (PDF)
In order to help you decide between software the CAQDAS networking project also provides a series of free software planning seminars where we raise some of the issues you may need to consider, and discuss how some of the software programs differ in the way they handle such aspects.
See also Silver and Lewins (2014, 2nd edition) Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide, Sage Publications, London.
We always welcome feedback concerning the relevance and usefulness of our resources. Indeed, many of the materials we provide are the direct result of repeated requests from students and qualitative researchers. So if you have downloaded any of the materials above please email us with your comments.