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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Lessons From Saturday Morning Cartoons: Wile E. Coyote and Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software

David P. AtkinsUniversity Libraries - Branch Libraries and Collection Logistics

Acme provided Wile E. Coyote with the tools and technology he applied in his pursuit of The Road Runner.  While at times these products failed, often times it was The Coyote’s own misuse that precipitated his regular Saturday morning mishaps. Qualitative researchers also use technology in the form of Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) to pursue their quarry. While the application of CAQDAS seldom results in qualitative disasters, the landscape of scholarly publications illustrates how little we really know about its use. Are scholars closing in on their objectives, or are they running off a cliff?  I will share the findings of a collaborative research study conducted with colleagues from the University of Georgia and the University of Tasmania, Australia, where we analyzed 763 journal articles to characterize both who is using two popular CAQDAS programs and how they are reporting this use.

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