This paper describes recent issues and developments in Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS) as presented in the opening plenary at the KWALON 2016 conference. From a user perspective, it reflects current features and functionality, including the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning; implications of the cloud; user friendliness; the role of digital archives; and the development of a common exchange format. This user perspective is complemented with the views of software developers who took part in the “Rotterdam Exchange Format Initiative,” an outcome of the conference.


Qualitative Data Analysis Software, QDAS, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, ATLAS.ti, Cassandre, Dedoose, f4analyse, MAXQDA, NVivo, QDA Miner, Quirkos, Transana, Exchange format, Interoperability, Qualitative Data Analysis, Learning Curve QDAS, Textual Data Mining, Cloud services.

Author Bio(s)

Jeanine C. Evers has a background in cultural anthropology and public administration. She has extensive experience conducting qualitative research in both The Netherlands and the Dutch Antilles. She has held several university positions at Dutch universities since 2001, most recently in the criminology department of Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has published several books on qualitative interviewing and qualitative analysis in Dutch (2007-2015) including The Qualitative Interview: Art and Skill. In 2004, she started the KWALON course department for short courses in qualitative methods and data analysis software, which has functioned as Evers Research & Training since 2011. She serves on the board of KWALON, the Dutch Network of Qualitative Research, is a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry and chairs the Rotterdam Exchange Format Initiative (REFI). Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: jcevers@eversresearch.nl.


I am indebted to Anne Kuckartz, Thomas Muhr and Thorsten Pehl for their openness to the idea for the Conference at the Berliner Methoden Treffen 2015, which encouraged me to proceed it further. Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank Harry van den Berg and Richard Staring for their comments on an earlier version of this article and Christina Silver for her comments on a part of the earlier version.

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