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These are software tools that assist in the analysis of qualitative data, which usually comes in the form of text, but can include audio, images, and video.

The tool has to perform at least one of the following functions, ideally more1

  • Content searching tools
  • Linking tools
  • Coding tools
  • Query tools
  • Writing and annotation tools
  • Mapping or networking tools

To understand the language of the tools, and the functionality, a good overview can be found in


Tools that fulfil some of these requirements can be found on the following lists:

Of course, the question is which tool is the best? And from my perspective, are there any Open options?

Some options:

  • One of the more capable and open options is RQDA;
  • one recommended for smaller, simpler tasks2 is FreeQDA;
  • and another tool that is active is QDAP
  • This is also active - CATMA


  • http://www.libreqda.edu.uy/
  • http://cat.texifter.com/ - ASP.net based
  • http://www.axiis.org/ - visualisation

  1. http://www.surrey.ac.uk/sociology/research/researchcentres/caqdas/support/choosing/caqdas_definition.htm ↩︎

  2. http://www.sosciso.de/de/2016/freeqda-qdap-ravens-eye/ ↩︎