Chapter 10 – Managing Interpretations (QDA Miner)

Chapter 10 in the book is all about managing interpretations; managing where and how you make analytic notes, using software structures to ensure your thoughts do not get forgotten or your notes lost. Ways of expressing or visualizing connections and relationships are sometimes provided in software and help in the generation and management of the ideas that you have about the data. The literature that informs your work is very important and these software programs can be used in many different ways to manage cross referencing with substantive data or to manage the literature review itself. See all coloured illustrations (from the book) of software tasks and functions, numbered in chapter order. 

Sections included in the chapter:

Writing as continuous analysis

Critical Appraisals of literature

Analytic memos

Process memos


Linking notes to data

Integrating notes with other work

Visualising memos

Managing the results and the compilation of analysis in QDA MIner

As discussed in Chapter 6 QDA Miner offers several memo tools.

A. Some text may be attached to the entire project by pressing the F4 key

B.  Attach comments to specific cases by creating additional document variables

C.  Attach comments and various outputs stored in the Report Manager

D. Make log entries in the command log window. This section focuses on how to attach comments to coded segments

E. Integrate bibliographic exported RIS files into the QDA Miner project

How to use the Report Manager 

Also see the Report Manager –analytic and process style topics can be set up as Reports under which selected coded segments and other output can be saved (within the project workspace in QDA Miner). These can be used as signposts – flagging analytic areas which need attention. These can remain empty until it is time to save segments or add an output to the Report manager. 

Open the Report Manager

Project menu/Report Manager – once open it will remain open but be iconized in the background

Create and compile a Report

To create a new Report – (find the top item will be named after the project right click at the top level) /’New’ name it usefully. Note that also at that point you could have imported any file. You will now be able to arrange different aspects of your report writing or collect segments of text or output in a hierarchical arrangement. See illustration.

QDA Miner image

You can do several things now: with the new item selected – you can just write along side it (in the empty pane to the right)

Having run a Coded Retrieval (Retrieval menu) you can for instance ‘Save’ individual coded segments (by right clicking on a coded segment in the table)


Add a whole table output to the Report Manager – Select the ‘Append table to Report’ icon at top of retrieval pane.

It will be placed somewhere in the hierarchical listing in the Report area and you can then drag it to be exactly where you want the saved items to appear under the hierarchical report area you want

How to view / assemble a Report

You can look at individual aspects you have saved by selecting each one in turn – or you can export the whole Report (File menu/Export/) and check the items you want included – then all items will be included in one report. 

How to create a project from RIS data file? 

QDA Miner can import data created by reference management software (like EndNote, Reference Manager, ProCite, Zotero), as well as many digital libraries (such as IEEE Xplore, ScienceDirect, SpringerLink). To import data, you need to export from those programs or services the references into an RIS data file. RIS files are structured text files and have by default a TXT file extension. To import such a file, set the file type list box to Reference Information Management (RIS) and then select the file you wish to import. Another approach is to change the file extension to RIS. QDA Miner will automatically recognize this file extension and import the references in this file without the need to specify the proper file type.

Once a file has been selected for importation, QDA Miner displays a dialog box similar to this one:

QDA Miner image

The following importation options are available:

Select variables to import – This list box allows you to put check marks beside variables that you want to import. All unchecked items will be ignored.

Transform publication year into a date – The publication dates in RIS files can consist of a full date, with days and months, or only the year, or sometimes the publication month and year. By default, QDA Miner will import just the publication year and store it in an integer variable. Choosing this option will store all dates into a DATE variable. If only the year is specified, QDA Miner will set the day and month to January 1. If the publication date consists of a month and a year only, then QDA Miner will set the day to the first day of the month.

Merge start and end pages – By default, start-page and end-page numbers are stored in separate variables. Selecting this option will join both numbers with a hyphen character and store those in a single string variable.

Once the options have been set, click the OK button.