The processes of analysing qualitative data, particularly the stage between coding and publication, are often vague and/or poorly explained by researchers. In this seminar, I will discuss a simple but rigorous and transparent technique for analysing qualitative textual data. The technique, Iterative Categorisation (IC), can be used flexibly and creatively, with inductive and deductive codes, and to support a range of common analytical approaches (including thematic analysis, Framework, constant comparison, analytic induction, content analysis, conversational analysis, discourse analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis and narrative analysis). I do not propose that IC is the only or best technique for analysing qualitative data. Rather, I introduce it in the spirit of openness and transparency, and in the hope that this might encourage novice qualitative researchers to try it and more experienced qualitative researchers to share how they analyse their own data. I will argue that we need to provide clearer explanations of how exactly we transform qualitative data into publications if we want to increase the legitimacy of qualitative research and advance qualitative methodology.
Jo Neale is Reader in Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research based within the National Addiction Centre and working across the Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, UK. She is also Conjoint Professor in the Centre for Social Research in Health at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Jo originally qualified as a social worker and has held positions at the University of Glasgow, the University of York, and Oxford Brookes University UK, where she was Professor of Public Health. Jo has undertaken a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies exploring topics relating to both substance use and homelessness. She is Commissioning Editor and Senior Qualitative Editor for the journal Addiction and a member of the editorial boards of The International Journal of Drug Policy and Health Sociology Review.
Missed out on this seminar? A recording of the seminar is now available.