The IIQM-ATLAS.ti Qualitative Methods Webinars

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The third colloquium of the The Qualitative Methods Master Class Webinar Series is coming up!  This time, Dr. Nancy Moules will be presenting “The Rigour and Art of Interpretive Writing”.  For more information, please visit the Series’ website at

Date: March 28, 2013, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM MST (Mountain Standard Time)-Time Zone Converter

Presenter: Dr. Nancy Moules, Professor, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary

Title: The Rigour and Art of Interpretive Writing

This webinar will be conducted through GoToWebinar.  To connect, you need to have high speed Internet service (wireless connection is not recommended) and a headset.  If you are in the United States, Canada, or European countries, you may also connect through a toll telephone number.  The instructions to connect to the webinar will be included in the confirmation message you will receive from GotoWebinar after completing the registration form.  A short guide to GoToWebinar can be found here. Thank you!

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Hierarchical structures

As you may all know, the codes in the ATLAS.ti Code Manager are organized following a flat structure.  This means that codes are grouped together at the same conceptual level.  However, does this mean that we cannot organize our codes hierarchically? No, not really. It just means that the researcher is given time to reflect upon what the data are telling us and, once the evidence is clear, we can proceed to create our hierarchical structures.  Of course, this process is iterative, it is continuous: we always have to revisit our structures and adjust them according to the evidence.

So, how do we organize our codes in hierarchical structures?  I can think of a set of steps: first, rename your codes using prefixes that represent larger categories. Secondly, explore the hierarchical relationships between codes using the Code-to-Code Network tool (also known as “Semantic” network or “strong-link” network). Hierarchical relations are “is part of” and “is a”.  So, as you place your codes in the network tool, and relate them with each other using one of these two relations, you will be building a simple tree structure, or taxonomic structure.  This structure, of course, should evolve as your understanding of the data advances. See figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Tree structure of codes using the Code-to-Code Network tool

Now, what if I want to code using the tree structure I have created?  Can this be done? Yes, you can code using the tree structure.  To do so, open the Code Forest, which will show you all the codes that are on top of a hierarchical structure, and underneath them, at different levels, the codes that are under it in the tree. Just place this Code Forest on the side and drag and drop the code(s) of your preference into the text. You can also experiment with the Code Tree, which allows you to see the hierarchy for a selected code only. See figure 2 below.

Figure 2. Code Forest and Code Tree tools


Just a final note: In ATLAS.ti you are not restricted to building tree structures using the “is a” or “is part of” relation. You are free to create all kinds of non-taxonimical structures as well. These structures can also be seen using the Code Forest and Code Tree tools. Just try these tools and find out for yourself their real potential.

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Welcome to the ATLAS.ti Training Center site.  This site provides resources to those who have registered for our webinars and workshops.  Our research blog has moved to  Visit us there!


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