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Healthc Inform Res > Volume 2(1); 1996 > Article
Journal of Korean Society of Medical Informatics 1996;2(1):41-58.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4258/jksmi.1996.2.1.41    Published online June 30, 1996.
The analysis of qualitative data with computer programs: An example of using "The Ethnograph" and "NUD.IST"
Jeong Eun Kim
Research Institute of Nursing Science, College of Nursing, Seoul National University, Korea.

Today, many qualitative researchers are beginning to seek for help in analyzing their qualitative data by computers. This study was done to introduce computer programs to Korean nurse researchers and to get aquaint them with the functions that can help them. The computers make it much easier for people to think about the meaning of their data, even though computers do not analyze data themselves. As Tesch points out, computer-aided analysis can reduce analysis time, cut out much drudgery, make procedures more systematic and explicit, insure completeness and refinement, and permit flexibility and revision in analysis procedure. There are now several dozen programs that qualitative researchers can use to support their work. There is no best program. The best choice for any researcher depends on prior computer and research experience, on the time horizon, on the project at hand, and on the analyses planned. This study introduced two programs which can be obtained in Korea : The Ethnograph and NUD.IST. Some of their basic features and implementing processes were presented, and their strength and weakness were also compared. It is clear that theory building and theory testing are increasingly seen as central features of good programs, and they are being implemented in a more systematic, user-friendly way. The issue of choosing the appropriate program for certain research is in understanding the program's properties and presuppositions, and how they can support or constrain the researcher's thinking to produce unanticipated effects. The focus needs to be on accessible, useful features that meet the real needs of qualitative researchers. The researcher hopes that these kinds of program, which will fully support the qualitative researcher's real needs will become more available, and that many qualitative researchers in Korea will get acquainted with, and make full use of computer programs for qualitative analysis.

Key Words: qualitative research, "The Ethnograph", "NUD.IST", computer program
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