Qualitative Research - Compiling comments from multiple documents

Chris Meylan
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:36 pm
Platform: Mac

Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:06 am Post

I am using Scrivener for my qualitative research. I have done some interviews and I have put the transcript of those interviews inside Scrivener into different documents (one transcript per document). I have then used the comments feature to highlight different sections of the interviews and used different colours to code my interviews. Now, what I would like to do, it's to compile all the same colour of text amongst all the interviews that I have selected into a new document.
For example, let's imagine that I have highlighted some sections of text in yellow in five different interviews (in five different documents). Is there then a possibility to have only those sections of text highlighted in yellow to be compiled into another, new, document? I don't want just the comment, I would like to have the actual text that has been highlighted as well.
I've been looking around, but haven't found this feature. Or is there another workaround?
Thanks a million for your help.

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Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:24 pm Post

You can't make Scrivener only compile some of the text within a document. Well, that's not entirely true. If you make inline comments, you can strip that text out during compile. You can also customize your compile settings to delete text marked with a given style. But as far as highlight color goes, there's nothing to be done about filtering out text marked with it (unless that highlight color is applied via a style, as noted above), or only selecting text with a given highlight color.

The only way I know to do what you're after is to split up your documents into chunks that can be included or excluded using some sort of "meta data", such as the Label, a Keyword, a value placed in custom metadata, or even just assigning certain documents to a collection and using that collection as a compile filter.

It may seem tedious now, but you might find that there are other advantages to splitting out, for instance, each question and answer pair... or even separating each question AND each answer into their own documents; you can always indent the answer beneath the question to essentially "connect" them together (in that if you move the question document in the binder, the answer doc will be moved with it). Some people do this kind of thing and find it quite flexible for doing things such as what you're trying to accomplish now.

I hope that helps a bit.
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Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:01 pm Post

You might be able to achieve something like what you want by printing to pdf, then using Highlights app (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/highlights-export-pdf-notes/id794854093?mt=12). It is hardly a perfect solution, but doing qual studies on Mac usually seems to involve work rounds. TAMS Analyzer (http://tamsys.sourceforge.net) is pretty old and was rather clunky when I used it (not very much). Tinderbox (http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/) is another possibility, though it is very expensive and is not an easy program to get to grips with (I have failed every time I have tried it -- we just don't get on). But if you can exploit the (many) features offered by Tinderbox, it could be just the thing, because no other program that I know of can do what it does.
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Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:51 pm Post

This has been discussed at some length before - see https://www.literatureandlatte.com/foru ... mit=Search for some of the threads.