The Use of New Technology in Qualitative Research. Introduction to Issue 3(2) of FQS

  • Graham R. Gibbs University of Huddersfield
  • Susanne Friese Qualitative Research & Consulting
  • Wilma C. Mangabeira Middlesex University
Keywords: CAQDAS, computer assisted qualitative data analysis, images, video, digital data, validity, reliability, coding, code and retrieve, XML, qualitative models


As society transforms and is transformed by new technology, so there are new ways in which qualitative researchers collect and analyse data and new forms of data to collect. This paper sets in context the contributions in this issue of FQS by examining these developments. The spread of video and photographic technology means that images can be used both as sources of data and as tools for data collection. The digital form much audio and video data now takes makes possible new ways of creating, processing and analysing such data. The parallel growth of the Internet also makes available new ways of collecting qualitative data and new settings in which to collect it. However, such developments raise issues about the way researchers collect, process and publish data and how they produce high quality analyses. Digital technology has also meant that new ways of analysing data through computer assisted qualitative data analysis (CAQDAS) are now possible. There is now a range of such software and, in response to demand, developers are still adding new features and functions that researchers need to understand. The diversity of software means that there is a need for standards for storing and exchanging qualitative data and analyses. Nevertheless, there is still much debate about the degree to which CAQDAS can itself produce qualitative analysis or merely assist with its development by human researchers. At the same time there is now evidence of analytic developments made possible by the use of new technology. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs020287


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Author Biographies

Graham R. Gibbs, University of Huddersfield
Graham R. GIBBS (, Head of Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Huddersfield, UK
Susanne Friese, Qualitative Research & Consulting
Susanne FRIESE, Assistant Professor, Institute of Marketing, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. Research Interests: computer-aided qualitative methodologies, multimedia data, consumer research, postmodernism
Wilma C. Mangabeira, Middlesex University
Wilma C. MANGABEIRA is a Sociologist and a Senior Lecturer at the School of Health and Social Sciences at Middlesex University. She has taught research methods and (later CAQDAS) since the 1980s, first at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, later at the Department of Human Sciences at Brunel University. Her research interests include the adoption of the constructivist approach to analyse the emergence and dissemination of CAQDAS; technology as text; analysis of uptake of new technologies and the changing research culture of expert communities. She has edited a book (Sage 1996) and published several papers on these issues. The most recent (2001) is co-authored with LEE, R. and FIELDING, N. and is called "Patterns of Adoption, Modes of Use and Representations about Technology: CAQDAS Users in the UK in the Mid-1990's". Sociologias 3(5) Jan/June. MANGABEIRA is also interested in the social studies of psychoanalysis and professional practices of psychotherapists and psychoanalysts. Publications include MANGABEIRA, Wilma C. (2000) "The Ego and the Self: An Epistemological History" in SEU, B. (Ed.) The Ego and the Self: Psychic Structures and Social Constructions. London: Rebus Press and MANGABEIRA, Wilma C. (1999) "On the Textuality of Objects in Disciplinary Practice: the Couch in Psychoanalysis". Psychoanalytic Studies, 1(3).