Analyzing open-ended responses can provide insight regarding participants’ experiences or illuminate organizational issues. The purpose of this study was to qualitatively analyze 1096 open-ended responses to a longitudinal survey and report patterns observed across participants. Word frequency, text search and matrix coding were used to analyze the data. Thematic differences were noted by the college group denoting the participant’s primary appointment. Although perceived gaps between expectations and service delivery were expected, participants’ statements pointed out informational inaccuracies or an absence of awareness. The inherent richness and insight of the analysis yielded complexities, otherwise not discernable using quantitative analyses. The authors offer suggestions for improving the university clinical translational science institute’s delivery of biomedical research services.


: Clinical Translational Science Institute, Longitudinal Surveys, NVivo, Matrix Coding, Open-Ended Survey Questions

Author Bio(s)

Linda S. Behar-Horenstein, Ph.D. is Distinguished Teaching Scholar and Professor and Director, CTSI Educational Development & Evaluation at the University of Florida. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: lsbhoren@ufl.edu.

Xiaoying Feng received her Ph.D. educational leadership from the University of Florida. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: fengxy@ufl.edu.


Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Award UL1TR001427. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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