About classifying sources


You can use source classifications to record information about your source materials—for example, the date and time of an interview or reference information about a journal article.

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Why classify sources?

When you classify sources, you are recording information about your sources—for example, you could record:

  • Bibliographical information about journal articles or other publications—you can import this data from reference management tools like EndNote or  Zotero.

  • The date and location of interviews or focus groups.

  • Any other information about your source materials that is relevant to your project.

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Classify sources by importing a literature review

If you use EndNote to gather references (and their related articles)—you can import this data into NVivo.

When you import this bibliographical data, the associated sources can be created and these will be automatically classified. Any new classifications can be added to your project.

For example, if you import a literature review that has an attached journal article called Causes and impact of climate change then:

  • The article is added as a PDF source in your project

  • The classification journal article (and its associated attributes) are added to your project

  • The article is classified as journal article and the attribute values are applied (author, year and so on)

For instructions on importing this data, refer to Exchange bibliographical data between NVivo and other reference management tools for more information.

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Other ways sources are classified automatically

NVivo automatically classifies sources that are imported from:

  • NCapture files containing content from the web. The sources are classified as 'Reference' and information associated with the web page—for example, URL and title—are stored as attribute values.

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Classify sources manually in NVivo

If you have recorded information about your sources in a spreadsheet, then you can import it. You can also record classifying information about your source materials manually, as follows:

  1. Make sure your project has the source classification that you need. You may need to create a new classification—refer to Create source classifications for more information.

  2. Assign the sources to the classification and set their attribute values—refer to Classify sources for more information.

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If you have classifying information about your sources in a tab or comma-separated values in a text file, you can import the data into NVivo. The data must be correctly formatted for import—refer to Import (or export) classification sheets for more information.

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What you can do with classifying information in NVivo

When you have added classifying information such as bibliographical information to your sources, you can

  • View all sources (and their attribute values) in a particular classification—refer to Use the classification sheet to see attribute values.

  • Run a query over all sources with particular characteristics. For example, run a Text Search query across all the Journal Articles published after 1995.

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