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Qualitative Data Analysis: Special Topics

This guide provides information and guidance for researchers interested in conducting qualitative data analysis.

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Overview of Special Topics

Scatter plot with blue and red terms on a white background illustrating a text mining diagram.An introduction to the text analysis for literature with basic introduction to software packages. This workshop is an introduction to working with text as data in the humanities. This workshop will cover:

  • gathering text corpora,
  • copyright considerations
  • data cleaning,
  • an introduction to some computational software tools,
  • reading the output and analysis of topic modeling and cluster analysis, and
  • general overview of common questions asked in computational literary studies.

Presented with grateful consultation from Dr. David Hoover, NYU English Department. 

MALLET Logo with a red hammer shape and Red lettering above spelling Mallet. In this workshop, students will learn the basics of topic modeling with the MAchine Learning for LanguagE Toolkit, or MALLET. The focus will be on using topic modeling for digital literary applications, using a sample corpus of novels by Victor Hugo, but the techniques learned can be applied to any Big Data text corpus. Special attention will be paid to explaining the principles underlying LDA (Latent Dirichlet Allocation), as well as tips for proper data management in MALLET use cases.

Voyant logo with VOYANT in charcoal lettering and an Owl in the O, stubtitled "see through your text"Voyant is a web-based text analysis tool designed to "facilitate reading and interpretive practices [...]"

With Voyant, you can upload or paste in a corpus of text and get some visualizations and analyses right in your browser. After uploading your corpus, you have 5 immediate panes:

  1. Cirrus (word cloud)
  2. Reader (displays your text)
  3. Trends (frequency of terms throughout text)
  4. Summary (summary statistics)
  5. Contexts (keywords with surrounding text)

Network visualization from Gephi, blue pink and yellow nodes on a black field connected by multi-colored lines.

Network diagrams are a great way to visualize the relationships between entities in your source material. It can sometimes help to explore materials from different angles to uncover new patterns and understanding.

If you're looking for more types of visualizations, you can find more information about data visualization generally at the corresponding library guide:


EndNote is freely available for the NYU community. You can find more information about downloading this software at the NYU EndNote support page. Below you can find a link to Tutorial slides that will walk you through the process of setting up and using EndNote to manage your bibliographic data.

1. Open the library of references you want to export.

2. In the toolbar at the top of the screen, click "Select Another Style" and select BibTex Export. BibTeX should be your archival copy. These files can also be used with LaTeX software to create citations and bibliographies.

a screenshot of the export option for endnote

3. Go to File > Export and save the file. 


1. In your desktop Zotero, go to File > Export library

a screenshot of zotero's file menu with export library highlighted

2. Make sure both notes and files are clicked so you export everything! 

a screenshot of exporting zotero library as zotero RDF with notes and files checked

3. Pick which format you'd like to export. We recommend exporting as a CSV for your archival copy, and also as BibLaTex, particularly if you want to import your library into other programs. BibTeX files can be used with LaTeX software to create citations and bibliographies also. 

a screenshot of export options from zotero, which is a long list

1. Go to File > Export

2. Pick your export format. We recommend using BibLaTex as your archival copy. BibTeX files can be used with LaTeX software to create citations and bibliographies also, and most other bibliographic managers allow import of BibLaTex files.a screenshot of mendeley the bibliogrpahic manager, with its export options highlighted

1.  Go to References > Export or Tools > Export, depending on your version.

screenshot of refworks export file menu selection

2. Select All References or a specific folder of references you want to export.

3. Under "Export Formats" select BibTex and XML. XML will be your archival copy, and BibTex will be the secondary copy, one which you can import into other reference managers or use with LaTex software.

screenshot of refworks export options for format and list of citations to export

4. Click "Export to Text" and save.