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Digital Skills Workshops for PhD Students (UNIGE and Geneva Graduate Institute)

NVivo for Literature Reviewing - 17, 19, 20 October 2023, 09:00 - 13:00 CET, online

Christina Silver

DS41 - NVivo for Literature Reviewing
Christina Silver


The NVivo for Literature Reviewing workshop combines discussion, demonstration and hands-on practice, using sample data and (optionally) your own research data. It follows the principles described in Woolf & Silver (2018) Qualitative Analysis using NVivo, the Five-Level QDA method and is led by Christina Silver, PhD. 

The workshop is divided into 3 sessions (17, 19, 20 October 2023, 09:00 - 13:00 CET, online) and includes:

  • Contextual illustrations – methodological and analytical principles, uses of NVivo for different types of literature review (e.g. in-depth literature review, scoping review, systematic review, etc.) 
  • Software Overview – interface, architecture, components, actions and tools
  • Guided Instruction – step-by-step instruction in using NVivo  
  • Group discussions and feedback - small-group breakouts to work on exercises together, discuss tasks and feedback  
  • Individual work - to consolidate understandings and put learning into practice  

Please note that students should attend the first session as sessions 2 & 3 build on that.  However, it is possible to attend 1 & 2 or 1 & 3 if it is not possible to join all 3 sessions. 

Session 1

October 17th 2023

09:00 - 13:00 CET, online

  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Literature reviewing in the analytic workflow
    • Types of literature review
    • Analytic activities when reviewing literature
  • Introduction to NVivo’s components
    • Focusing on components described in Woolf & Silver 2018, chapter 5 – Files, Folders, References, Nodes, Coded-References, Cases, Attribute-Values, Query-Results, Sets & SearchFolders, Annotations, Memos, Maps, and Charts
  • Guided walk-through of a literature review project in NVivo
  • Preparing data for analysis – working with Reference Manager tools (e.g. Zotero, Endnote etc.)
  • Setting up an NVivo project and importing literature files
    • Specifying Objectives and review questions
    • Using NVivo Maps and Memos as planning devices 

Session 2

October 19th 2023

09:00 - 13:00 CET, online

  • Identifying relevant materials
    • Exploring Titles, Abstracts, and Keywords
    • Screening for relevance
    • Annotating to capture initial thoughts
  • Capturing evidence and meaning in literature
    • Qualitative capturing (coding at different levels (segments/ concepts/ article…)
    • Quantitative capturing (facts about evidence captured at different stages)
    • Assessing quality – exploring qualitative/quantitative criteria for capturing quality
    • Retrieval and review of coded data)

Session 3

October 20th 2023

09:00 - 13:00 CET, online

  • Appraising and Synthesising Evidence
    • Interrogating patterns and relationships within and between data (e.g. queries)
      • Quantitative synthesis (e.g., Charts and Tables for quantifying coding)
      • Qualitative synthesis (e.g., Maps, Memos, Matrices etc…)
  • Communicating Findings  
    • Making and managing interpretations
    • Pulling the strands together to present an argument
    • Visualising and exporting  
  • Round up
    • Next steps with NVivo  
    • Planning for incorporating other qualitative materials
    • Pulling the analysis together to communicate process and findings  


Christina has been using and teaching qualitative data analysis software packages for over 20 years. She has conducted many different research projects with and without the use of qualitative software and has designed and carried out analysis for many independent organisations. She has taught under- and post-graduate qualitative methods courses in UK and European universities and has contributed to doctoral programmes across several institutions. As well as being director of Qualitative Data Analysis Services Ltd, she is leads and directs the CAQDAS Networking Project at the University of Surrey.
Christina is co-author of Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide with Ann Lewins and The Five-Level QDA® method with Nicholas Woolf.

PhD students of the Graduate Institute will be informed of each workshop by email.  For any questions regarding registration to the workshop, please contact: