Using NVivo’s Codebook

Developing and using a codebook to guide coding is a common qualitative research technique. The codebook typically lists the names and descriptions of codes, allowing the reader to see the topics, categories, and/or themes used in the analysis. Depending on your analysis approach, the codebook may be developed prior to coding or as you commence and proceed through coding. Either way, your codebook is bound to evolve.

The NVivo Codebook is a quick way to document and share a list of the Codes in your NVivo Project. It shows the names and descriptions of Codes and the coding structure. It also reports the number of Files and References included in the Code, which gives an indication of how much coding has been captured at a given Code. For example, you can see at a glance if a Code has References from a few or all the Files in the project, indicating the breadth of data covered by that Code.

Sample page of an exported Codebook.

The NVivo Codebook is a great way to engage your team in discussion about the coding structure. Because the NVivo Codebook is exported as a Word document, it can be readily shared with team members – whether or not they have access to NVivo. Exporting your NVivo Codebook on a regular basis is a good practice.

  • Export regularly and save to provide audit trail.
  • Export and print to share with others.
  • Use as reference when making coding structure decisions.

Exporting the NVivo Codebook is easy. Check out the simple steps in the illustration below.

Steps to export the Codebook from an NVivo project.



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