Types of Software for Textual, Video, and Audio Analyses
Currently, two main types of programs for (mainly) textual analysis exist:
- Software that searches, organizes, and annotates textual and sometimes multimedia data for further (qualitative and/or quantitative) analyses. Programs of this type are frequently subsumed under the acronym CAQDAS ("Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software"). We distinguish between three types of these programs:
- Programs that enable quantitative analyses of textual data. Two principal methods for analyses can be
distinguished (Hogenraad, McKenzie & Péladeau 2003: 221):
- software that computes text statistics and concordances,
- applications that perform (mainly quantitative) dictionary-based content analyses.
Computer-aided evaluative assertion analysis, which "can be viewed as a kind of network analysis of textual data" (van den Berg & van der Veer 2000: 67), is a somewhat lesser known technique. The only software for this methodology is the DOS program CETA. Its distribution has been discontinued.
For "comparative research,"1 you might want to have a look at fs/QCA.
Two hybrid programs aim at both organizing and analytical tasks. cannot be captured by this typology. Finally, small helper applications prepare text for computer analyses.
Transana assists in the transcription and coding of video and audio data.
NB: We will ignore programs that are not available for graphic user environments (i.e., Windows, Linux or MacOS) as well as programs that are only remotely related to media research, such as TATOE, which caters to linguistic analysis, or C-I-SAID, EZ-Text, and TextSmart for SPSS, which aim at interview data. For these and other vintage programs, check Harald Klein's exhaustive overview of text analysis software.
- Hogenraad, Robert, Dean P. McKenzie & Normand Péladeau (2003): "Force and Influence in Content Analysis: The Production of New Social Knowledge," Quality & Quantity 37 (3): 221-238.
- van den Berg, Harry & Kees van der Veer (2000): "Computerized Decision Support Systems and Text Analysis: Evaluating CETA, Quality & Quantity 34 (1): 65-86.
1 We put "comparative research" in quotation marks, because, strictly speaking, all research is by definition comparative. In sociological jargon, comparative research is often synonymously used with international comparative research.