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Researchware, Inc.

Simply Powerful Tools for Qualitative Research

Technical Notes

Our Technical Notes provide guidance and tips for advanced users who want to get the most out of our products.

 

Using Notes from Evernote in HyperRESEARCH

Researchers often use the Evernote application to take notes, make observations, and record other information that can be used as source data in a qualitative study. You can easily export selected notes from Evernote as documents that can be used in HyperRESEARCH.

  1. In Evernote, select the notes you want to bring into HyperRESEARCH:
    Selecting notes in Evernote
  2. Choose File > Export. (On Mac OS X, choose File > Export Notes.)
    Choose an HTML export format
  3. Choose either “Export as a single HTML Web Page” or “Export as multiple Web Pages”.
    • Exporting as a single page puts all your selected notes into a single file. If the notes are closely related, and you want to analyze them as one file, choose this option.
    • Exporting as multiple pages puts each note into its own file. If you prefer to analyze each note as a separate source, choose this option.
  4. In HyperRESEARCH, you can code a single source file in more than one case, so even if you export as a single file, you can use the notes in the file in several different cases.
  5. Click “Export” (on Windows) or “Save” (on Mac OS X) to export the file or files.
    evernote-export-confirm
  6. You can open the exported files in HyperRESEARCH by choosing Sources > Open Text Source. However, the exported HTML file has some extra style information that isn’t used by HyperRESEARCH and that may not display properly.

    You can obtain a better result by opening the exported HTML file in Microsoft Word, then choosing File > Save As saving it as a Word file (.docx). You can then open this file in HyperRESEARCH and code it as you would any other source file.

Coding Conversational Studies in HyperRESEARCH

A frequent form of qualitative analysis is the analysis of question and answer style conversations. This guide illustrates an approach to coding and analyzing such interviews within HyperRESEARCH. Below is a simplified example of a basic conversational interview.

Coding_Conversations_Figure_1

This example displays a code for each question, such as "Question 01 - Did you have pets as a child?" and "Question 02 - Do you currently have pets?".

IMPORTANT TIP: HyperRESEARCH sorts codes alphabetically. By adding a leading zero, as you see in the above example, I ensure that my questions will appear listed in order (assuming I have fewer than 99, otherwise I would need 2 leading zeros)]. I have used my questions codes to code the entire chunk of text containing the question and the subject's answer.

It is important that I cover the answer with one code representing the question, and other codes representing portions of the subject's answer that are relevant to my study (in this case the codes "Dogs" and "Cats").

I will then use a filter feature in HyperRESEARCH called "Overlaps" to filter, for example, just those responses where a subject spoke about "Dogs" in response to Question 01. To use the Overlaps functions effectively, I will code the subject's entire answer to the question with a code representing the question and then portions of their answer with other codes related to my study.

I can now select Filter Codes > By Criteria from the Study Window.

Under the "Build Criteria" menu, I can select "Function..." and then the "Overlaps" function. This will prompt me to pick to code name that I want to test as being overlapping. I then select my Question 01 code, followed by the code "Dogs" (shown below) to find all those response where the person talked about "Dogs" only in response to Question 01.

Coding_Conversations_Figure_2

Clicking "Select" then filters my code response to just those where a subject spoke about "Dogs" in response to Question 01. This is reflected on both the code shown in the Study Window and in the Code in Context sidebar of the Source (see below).

Coding_Conversations_Figure_3

Using the Report Builder or Frequency Report I can:

  • show all my codes by resetting the Code filter to All.
  • use the Overlaps function in Case filters to limits my cases to just respondents who spoke about Dogs in Question 01, and
  • create more complex criteria as well.

Please see the HyperRESEARCH user guide or online help for more information on Case and Code filters and filter functions.

 

Research On Netbooks

Wikipedia defines a netbook as a "category of small, lightweight, legacy-free, and inexpensive laptop computers." Typically with screen sizes between 5" and 12" and weighing in at around 2 to 3 pounds or 1 to 1.5 kilos, these small laptops are noted for their portability and low cost. Netbooks are available from many manufacturers and run Windows (Windows 7 Starter or XP typically), Linux, or Mac OS X (Apple's Macbook Air). Researchware's HyperRESEARCH for qualitative data analysis and HyperTRANSCRIBE for easy transcription are available for netbooks under Windows or Mac OS X.

Netbook Advantages and Limitations for Research

A netbook's small size and lightness make it ideal for field work. As a fully configured computer, it is capable of running much of the software that's available for larger computers.

To achieve such a high degree of portability, however, netbooks typically do not include an optical drive (CD/DVD), relying on an Internet connection for transfer of data files and installation of applications. They often use digital storage rather than a hard disk, which gives them greater ruggedness and reduces power use, but also typically provides less space than a conventional hard disk.

Because of the netbook's typically small storage size, it's important to choose software for it that doesn't take too much disk space. With a footprint of around 30Mb, HyperRESEARCH is ideal for the limited profile of a netbook. You can even install HyperRESEARCH on a thumb drive for more flexibility, moving it to any Windows or Mac OS X computer you need to use.

Installing HyperRESEARCH and HyperTRANSCRIBE on a Netbook

Because our tools are delivered by download from our web site, installation on a netbook is fast and easy. Installation doesn't require a CD-ROM or DVD drive. All you need is a connection to the Internet. (Or you can download our self-contained installer on another computer and use a thumb drive to transfer it to your netbook.)

Your purchased license key fully activates HyperRESEARCH or HyperTRANSCRIBE. Our license allows you to use your software on more than one computer, as long as only one copy is in use at a time, so you don't need to buy a separate license for netbook use.

View a few of the available netbooks at Amazon.com or from your favorite online or local reseller.

Installation Options for Site Administrators

 

The following will serve as a guide for site administrators who need to install and manage HyperRESEARCH and/or HyperTRANSCRIBE across large numbers of desktop systems or on centralized applications servers.

 

Disk Images or Desktop Builds

Terminal or Application Servers

Desktop Management Systems

License Management Systems

Command Line Installations

 

If the install consists of more than simply manually installing a software package on someone's individual computer, this information may be of help to you. The wide variety of ways in which organization may choose to manage their desktop software is highly variable, and we have addressed concerns for a variety of these mechanisms.

 

Disk Images or Desktop Builds

Some organizations ensure that any computers (laptops, desktops, etc.) purchased by the organization for individuals at the organization have a standard set of software pre-installed, often referred to as a standard (disk) image or standard build. Organizations may have a number of different "standard" builds for different groups within their organization. These images can be assembled and replicated on to a new computer through a variety of mechanisms, but often software tools are used that help create, manage, and copy these builds on to new (or old) computers. Ghost (now Norton Ghost) has long been a popular tool for imaging individual computers (see http://www.symantec.com/themes/theme.jsp?themeid=ghost). There are many other such tools.

 

Both HyperRESEARCH and HyperTRANSCRIBE are standard desktop applications.

 

  • To incorporate these into an image, they need to be installed, via their installers on the computer from which a master image will be taken.
  • After installation, they need to be licensed.
  • Launch HyperRESEARCH and HyperTRANSCRIBE (as applicable) and enter a "name" (any thing you like) and optional "organization" into the registration box.
  • Then enter a valid license key.

 

Note: Depending upon how you have licensed HyperRESEARCH, your organization may have been provided an individual license key for each license you purchased or a single key for your site. Our application technically just needs a valid key, so if you have multiple license keys, pick one and use it as the key to activate the applicable software (HyperRESEARCH or HyperTRANSCRIBE as they use different keys). Your organization is legally obligated to ensure you have purchase enough individual licenses for your users, but our software doesn't police that. We believe most people are ethical and will honor the terms of the license without the unneccessary overhead of license enforcement code in our applications.

 

Terminal or Application Servers
Terminal or Application servers enable an organization or install a desktop software package on a central server and enable one or more users to connect to that server and run the software off from the server. Such software can either provide a remote connection to a full desktop and all applications installed for that user or can present a single application as if it was running on the users own computer. Such software may also provide license management, allowing an administrator to set how many instances of a specific software application can be open concurrently. Examples of such Application Server software includes Microsoft Terminal Server (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/virtual-desktop-infrastructure/default.aspx) and Citrix (http://www.citrix.com/).

 

For tools like these, install HyperRESEARCH and/or HyperTRANSCRIBE as you would any other desktop application under these Application Servers. Be sure to initially license our applications by opening them and entering a registration name (any name), organization, and valid license key. If you prefer to install and license the software at the same time and are comfortable with command line interfaces, see details on our command line installer options below. Remember that as with Disk Images above, you can use a single license key to register our software and then use, if available, the mechanism such tools have to limit use to your number of licenses. Such application server tools will generally have a property that can be set for each application that is the maximum concurrent users. This should be set to no more than the number of licenses your organization has purchased.

 

Desktop Management Systems
Examples of Desktop Management Systems include LANDesk (http://www.landesk.com/) or Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/system-center-2012-r2-configuration-manager/default.aspx). Such systems allow an administrator to remotely deploy software to multiple individual computers and to remotely manage and/or control those individual computers. In these systems, you are deploying software to multiple computers rather than installing on a central application server (above). In general an administrator packages up the installer with some related information or commands and selects a set of computers to deploy the package to.

 

For these systems, administrators often use a command line installation process. See the details on our command line installer options for HyperRESEARCH and HyperTRANSCRIBE. Remember that as with Disk Images above, you can use a single license key to register our software and then use, if available, the mechanism such tools have to limit use to your number of licenses.


License Management Systems
License management systems focus on managing concurrent uses of an application regardless of where it is located or how it was deployed. Many of the software systems mentioned above (Citrix, LANDesk, Ghost Solutions Suite, etc.) include or have optional license management. An additional example of a popular license management system is KeyServer (http://www.sassafras.com/). For license management systems like KeyServer, after you have deployed a licensed version of our software (as part of standard build for example), you can identify our applications to KeyServer and indicate how many concurrent uses to allow.

 

Some license management systems require that the software to be controlled be modified to incorporate their specific management interface, for example, FlexNet/flexlm (http://www.flexerasoftware.com). We do not support such license management systems.

 

Every organization has different approaches and uses different tools in different ways to manage their computers and software. We cannot possibly cover all the wide range of software management tools or the specifics of how to use them. If your site is running any of these tools, then, hopefully, someone there has been trained in their use and/or has access to the vendor's support for such a system. Likewise, we cannot possible test our software on and under every possible management tool. To the best of our testing, our software will work under most major software management tools.

 

Command Line Installations

HyperRESEARCH 3.5 (and later) and HyperTRANSCRIBE 1.6 (and later) support a command-line installation specifically to support the needs of large site customers.

 

 

You can use Command Prompt on Windows or Terminal on OS X to install. The Installer currently supports these options:

-u or -ui (REQUIRED): tells the Installer not to load its graphic user interface
-D (REQUIRED): full destination path (e.g. "C:\Program Files" or C:\Program Files (x86)" on 64-bit systems)
-l (optional): full path to a file to log output
-k (optional): valid registration key
-o (optional): organization name for registration
-a (optional): flag for creating desktop alias/shortcut

Please note that options flags are case-sensitive. The -a flag is a Boolean; it has requires no argument following it as the others do. The options can be used in any order, but of course the data for a given option must follow that option.

As with any shell commands, arguments passed to the Installer which have spaces in them must be enclosed in quotes.

In this installer version, only hard disk installs are supported, not dual-platform USB installs. For dual-platform USB installes, you must run the installer with the graphic user interface.

Option Details:

-u[i] is required; without it the Installer will launch as a graphical user interface (GUI) application and no further processing of command-line options will happen.

-D is required, and must be a full path to the destination folder. The Installer will append that path with the name and version of the application, so, for example, if you pass "C:\Program Files" the app will be installed in "C:\Program Files\HyperRESEARCH 3.0" when installing HyperRESEARCH 3.0. On Windows 64 bit systems, remeber to install to "C:\Program Files (x86)".

-l is for logging. You must specify a path and log file name. This must be a full path; partial paths may cause the file to be created in unexpected locations, as the default directory changes many times during installation.

-k is for a valid HyperRESEARCH v3.x registration key or valid HyperTRANSCRIBE 1.x registration key (as applicable). Using this option will cause the Installer to create a registration file in the application's Components folder, so it can be used by all users on that computer. The key is checked for validity before installation begins, and will write a warning to the log file if the key is invalid. If this option is not used, the installer installs HyperRESEARCH or HyperTRANSCRIBE in it's free trial mode.

-o is the name of the organization, used where both the user name and organization are placed in the reg file when installing manually. This option is only useful when -k is used; if not creating a registration file this option is ignored. The option's parameter is used as both the Name and Organization in the registration information.

-a causes the installer to create an alias (Mac) or shortcut (Windows) on the user's desktop to the application that's been installed. This option has no data; simply include it if you want an alias/shortcut created, or leave it out if not.

The syntax is the same on both platforms, using the file path delimiters specific to each platform:

Windows XP Example:

>"C:\Documents and Settings\SomeUser\Desktop\HyperRESEARCH352_Installer.exe" -u -l "C:\Documents and Settings\SomeUser\Desktop\installerlog.txt" -D "C:\Program Files" -k XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX -o "Acme University" -a

Windows 8 (64-bit) Example:

>"C:\Users\SomeUser\Desktop\HyperTRANSCRIBE161_Installer.exe" -u -l "C:\Users\SomeUser\Desktop\installerlog.txt" -D "C:\Program Files (x86)" -k XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX -o "Acme University" -a

MacOS X Example:

>"/Users/SomeUser/Desktop/HyperRESEARCH352_Installer.app" -ui -l "/Users/SomeUser/Desktop/installerlog.txt" -D "/Applications" -k XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX -o "Acme University" -a

MacOS X Administrators Note

A limitation with the way the HyperRESEARCH 3.5.2 Installer interacts with POSIX on OS X requires you to run a second line in shell to set the executable bit of the executable within the app bundle. This limitation does not existing for HyperTRANSCRIBE and will be corrected with HyperRESEARCH 3.5.3 (forthcoming). Admins who need this will be familiar with the syntax:

chmod 755 "HyperRESEARCH 3.5.2.app/Contents/MacOS/HyperRESEARCH"

 

File Conversions: PDF to Microsoft Word

A bit about PDF files

Portable Document Format (PDF) files, a file format originally created by Adobe, come in two types.

Some PDF's are created as scanned images of a document. When opened in a PDF viewer, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, the text is not selectable. As you move the cursor over the text, the cursor will be displayed as a crosshair cursor.

crosshairsThis indicates that the content of the PDF is only selectable as an image. In effect, each page of the PDF is a picture of a page and the text can only be extracted by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). These are image-based PDFs.

The other type of PDF is one that has been created as the output of an application such as Microsoft Word or other page layout or word processing software. These PDFs were typically "printed" to PDF format and contain data about the text in the PDF. When the PDF is viewed in a PDF viewer the text of the document may be selected and copied. As you move the cursor over the text, the cursor will be displayed as an i-beam cursor.

i-beam

This indicates that the text is selectable. Unless a PDF document's security settings prevents it, PDF files with editable text can be converted back to an editable format such as Microsoft Word. These are text-based PDFs

The PDF format also supports a variety of security features that the creator of a PDF can apply to their document. These security features, such as disabling the copy and pasting of text from the document or disabling printing of the document or other security options, can inhibit or prevent making use of the PDF as electronic source material for qualitative research.

Converting a text-based PDF to a Microsoft Word document

Many PDF Viewers, such as Acrobat Reader, offer an option to save the text of the PDF document to a Plain Text file if the permissions of the PDF file allow it. In Acrobat Reader, select "Save as text..." from the "File" menu. If you just need to convert the PDF to a text file, using "Save as text..." is the fastest way to do so.

A number of commercial and free tools exist that will convert a text-based PDF file to a Microsoft Word (or OpenOffice) document. Once converted to Microsoft Word, for example, the source materials can be saved as .DOCX (Microsort Word 2007 and above) or .ODT (Open Office Writer) and opened in HyperRESEARCH 3.5 and later OR Rich Text Format (RTF) and opened in HyperRESEARCH 3.0 and later versions, OR saved as Text and opened in any version of HyperRESEARCH.

  • Nuance (http:/www.nuance.com/) makes a commercial PDF conversion tool called PDF Converter. Details can be found here. We recommend a commercial tool if you have a lot of PDF files you need to convert and want them converted in a timely fashion.
  • NitroPDF Software (http://www.nitropdf.com/) provides a free web-based service for converting PDFs to either Microsoft Word "doc" format or to "rtf" format (We recommend converting to .doc and then using Word to save the .doc as a .rtf file). This service can be found here. This service is very popular and the turn-around time (the time from when you submit your file to when it shows up in your email) can be hours. This service is useful when you have a few PDF files that are not time sensitive to convert.  NitroPDF also makes commercial conversion software for higher volume with more conversion options. Details can be found here.

There are other PDF to Microsoft Word conversion tools available, both free and commercial. Enter "PDF to Word Converter" into your favorite search engine to see many of them.

Converting an image-based PDF to a Microsoft Word document

The process to convert an image-based PDF is similar to that of a text-based PDF. In these PDF documents, the conversion tool must look at each character of text as an image and, by matching the shape of the character, convert it to a typable character. This technology is called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). OCR capability is generally only found in commercial PDF conversion tools.

From Nuance (http://www.nuance.com/), only their PDF Converter Pro version supports OCR. Details can be found here.

From NitroPDF Software (http://www.nitropdf.com/) only their NitroPDF Professional version supports OCR. Details can be found here.

Once a PDF file has been converted to Microsoft Word or OpenOffice, you can then save it as .DOCX (Microsort Word 2007 and above) or .ODT (Open Office Writer) and opened in HyperRESEARCH 3.5 and later OR Rich Text Format (RTF) and opened in HyperRESEARCH 3.0 and later versions, OR saved as Text and opened in any version of HyperRESEARCH.

Other conversion options

Other options exist for PDF conversion. We've found the web site, http://www.online-convert.com/, to provide a very wide array fo free conversion options. PDF's can also be converted to a series of image files (each page an image) and coded as images. This is potentially useful when the PDF is a scanned image or exact preservation of the original colors, layout, and styles in a complex PDF is required.

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Do You Know...

... that you can change the length of the segment that HyperTRANSCRIBE plays? Choose the Preferences menu item, and change the number of "Seconds to Play When Advancing". From now on, HyperTRANSCRIBE will play a segment of the new length when you press Shift-Space or when you press Tab to advance to the next segment.

Adjusting the segment length can help make your transcribing process more efficient. For example, if you often need to replay the segment before advancing to the next, try making the segment length shorter so that you can transcribe an entire segment in one pass. On the other hand, if you find it very easy to finish transcribing each segment without replaying it, making the segment length longer may improve your rate.
Learn More About HyperTRANSCRIBE