About this Resource

CAQDAS Comparison

CAQDAS Comparison / Coding

Coding is at the heart of CAQDAS, and a wide variety of coding techniques exist.

Coding Techniques

The most common coding techniques are:

All codes are usually stored in a codebook, which in some programs can be structured in a hierarchy and/or a network. Some programs also allow you to color codes to organize them.

  In vivo Contextual Automatic Color of Coding Stripes Codebook
ATLAS.ti 5.0 yes simple very slow random flat codebook, but codes can be linked in a variety of ways
HyperRESEARCH 2.6 no windows are difficult to handle yes, but sources are quite cumbersome to add (one source at a time) none flat
Kwalitan 5.09 yes simple simple text only; invalid error messages none complex tree structure
MAXqda 2 yes windows are difficult to handle quick and stable five colors available hierarchical
N6 yes simple simple none hierarchical
NVivo 2 yes simple very slow no, and coding stripes slow the program considerably in large projects hierarchical, different types of codes
QDA Miner 1.0.15 no straightforward quick and stable all Windows colors Only two levels in hierarchy
Qualrus yes cumbersome requires use of an idiosyncratic script language ? cumbersome
TAMS 2.50b5
Non-CAQDAS benchmark programs

  1. There are two reasons, why in vivo coding may be hazardous. From a theoretical point of view, it is imperative to "break" (Bourdieu, Passeron & Chamboredon 1991) with the communicative categories of everyday speech to analyze discourse effectively. From a practical standpoint, the ease with which in vivo codes are applied might lead to a coding/data fetish, which prompts the analyst to "Code everything." (Cisneros 2003: 306) Obviously, these hazards can be circumvented, if one stays aware of them.


media methods  > research >  software evaluation > caqdas > comparison > coding contact