Reviewing literature and analysing documents with NVivo



Organised by:

Qualitative Data Analysis Services


Dr Christina Silver and Dr Sarah Bulloch


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Christina Silver,

video conference logo

Venue: Online


Learn how to review literature and analyse documents efficiently and systematically with NVivo in our two half-day online workshops


Learning objectives

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate types of literature review and document analysis 
  • Make an informed decision as to an appropriate methodology for their needs
  • Develop a framework for undertaking a literature review and/or document analysis systematically
  • Navigate digital tools designed to facilitate literature reviewing and/or document analysis
  • Know where to go for more resources and advice in undertaking a literature review and/or document analysis


Who is this course for?

This course is designed for postgraduate students and early career researchers in any discipline working on or planning for a literature review or documentary analysis. No prior knowledge of NVivo is required.


Course overview and aims

NVivo can be harnessed to organise a range of types of materials and our ideas about them. This includes electronic copies of journal articles, and documents such as reports, public records and policy statements, amongst other materials. Framed by reviewing and documentary analysis methodologies, this course provides an introduction to NVivo’s powerful tools that facilitate in-depth analysis of individual items, as well as cross-item comparison; all with a view to enabling structured, efficient writing of findings. 



  • Types of literature review & document analysis – differentiating review methodologies and understanding their purposes
  • Review and analysis questions – developing focused questions to guide reading and appraising literature and documents
  • Planning a literature review or document analysis – considerations in ensuring reviews and analyses are efficient and systematic
  • Tasks involved in reviewing literature and analysing documents - working directly and indirectly with literature and documents 
  • Digital tools for reviewing and analysing literature and documents – understanding the different role of bibliographic software and the tools available in NVivo
  • Structuring notes and writing up – tying report-writing with review objectives and sharing with different audiences


Format and documentation

All our workshops are hands-on, delivered through a blend of demonstration, discussion and practical exercises, rather than providing simplistic, mechanical instruction. 

To deliver as tailored an experience as possible, we contact you on enrolment in order to understand your research goals and analytical strategies. Additionally, our participant numbers are capped to a small group size and we run our courses with two facilitators, allowing us to cover the core topics, as well as specialist needs arising out of individual projects. 

Participants are provided with slide decks, reading lists and a range of resources to accompany the course and to support consolidation of the topics covered. 

Participants must have access to NVivo on either a Windows or Mac machine. The course will be taught on NVivo R1, however, participants running NVivo 12 are also able to follow the course. 

A two-week trial version of the software is available free of charge from the NVivo website



Christina Silver, PhD is the director of Qualitative Data Analysis Services and manager of the CAQDAS Networking Project at the University of Surrey, UK. Christina’s interests relate to the relationship between technology and methodology and the effective teaching of qualitative methods and digital tools. She is co-author of Using Software in Qualitative Research: A Step-by-Step Guide (Sage publications, 2007, 2014) and Qualitative Analysis using ATLAS.ti/MAXQDA/NVivo: The Five-Level QDA® Method (Routledge 2018). Christina has trained more than 11,000 researchers around the world in qualitative methods and the use of digital tools for analysis, since 1998, and is a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences.

Sarah L Bulloch, PhD is a senior associate of Qualitative Data Analysis Services and teaching fellow at the CAQDAS Networking Project at the University of Surrey, UK. Sarah has expertise in both qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques and has applied them in academic, public sector, private and third sector contexts. Her current work and research centres around enabling others to apply research methods, and the digital tools to support them, in a meaningful, robust and flexible way. Sarah first used CAQDAS packages in 2006 and started teaching them in 2010. 


About Qualitative Data Analysis Services

QDA Services provide tailored and flexible training, consultancy, coaching and analysis for qualitative and mixed-methods researchers. We specialize in facilitating high-quality analysis through the powerful use of digital tools. Our website provides information about our work, including our pedagogy - the Five-Level QDA method, which underpins the way we think about, undertake and teach methods and tools.



£130 Students | £160 General

Website and registration:





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