Dedoose is an easy-to-use, collaborative, web based application that facilitates all types of research data management and analysis.
Here's what you need to know about how to use it.
It’s easy to sign up for an account at Dedoose. Just follow these steps:
After completing the form, you will immediately receive your temporary password. You can then log in. Go to the Account Workspace to create a permanent password. You will also receive a confirmation email with additional helpful information.
Your first month on Dedoose is FREE. After that, individual users pay $14.95/month; groups of 2 to 5 pay $12.95 per active user/per month; and groups of 6 or more pay $10.95 per user/per month. At the end of your free 30 days, you will be prompted for a payment. You can change your pricing plan at any time via help from us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note, individual and small group accounts have monthly charges applied only for active users.
To log into Dedoose Projects:
When you log in for the first time, you will see your copy of the Demo Project. For more information on the Demo Project, please see the next item.
Returning users will see the Home Dashboard for the project you most recently visited. To access a different project, or to create a new project, click the Projects tab in the Main Menu bar.
As a first-time user, you see the Home Dashboard for your Demo Project when you first log in. Once there, you will see mixed methods data from a study of literacy development. Playing with these data will help you learn your way around Dedoose Workspaces.
Here is an introduction to the project features:
• The Main Menu Bar is at the top right. It allows you to navigate different Workspaces within the same project. IMPORTANT: DO NOT click the Back button on your web browser to navigate. Doing so will cause you to exit Dedoose. If you want to move back within Dedoose, use the Back button on the Main Menu Bar.
• The upper left panel contains a summary of your project’s attributes and buttons to import and export data. You can also import data to and export data from individual Workspaces by clicking on the Import or Export button at the top of the panel for that Workspace.
• The top of some Workspace panels also features an Edit icon. When you click on Edit some panels will turn orange to remind you to switch out of Edit mode when you are finished editing.
• You can expand individual Workspaces (charts, tables, plots) to full screen by clicking the Expand icon. When you are done, simply close that window by clicking the X to close.
• When you move your cursor over different icons or objects in the Project, Smart Tool Tips will pop up to answer questions you may have.
To create a new Project:
*Name your project, add a description and decide if you need an additional level of security. If you decide to apply the added layer of encryption, be certain to note to your password, because Dedoose cannot help you recover it if forgotten. NOTE: Most users do not need this exceptional added level of encryption. *Once you have created your new Project, the next time you log in Dedoose will load that project instead of the Demo project. If you create additional Projects, you will go to whichever Project you accessed most recently.
NOTE: Periodic system maintenance can wipe the memory the system has about the most recent project you were working on and this will cause you to be taken to your first project (often your demo project) rather than the last one you were working with. If that happens, click on the Projects button after logging in and locate the project you wish to access. Click on the Load button next to the Project’s name to get to that Project’s Home Dashboard.
Buttons at the bottom of the Project menu also allow you to rename, copy, or delete Projects as needed.
Dedoose makes it easy for you to import existing media files for your qualitative data, regardless of whether they are stored as spreadsheets, text, images, audio, or video.
These data may be field notes, observations, interview or focus-group transcripts, manuscripts, pasted images, audio streams, photographs, video streams, hyperlinks, survey data—anything that you can store as a text, spreadsheet, audio, or video file (.doc, .docx, .rtf, .txt, .pdf, .xls, .xlsx, .csv, .tif, .jpg, .png, .gif, .mp3, .mp4, .wma, and .m4a).
To import your files, start from the Project Workspace dashboard and click the Import Data icon in the upper left panel. You will then see a pop-up menu where you will indicate the type of data you are importing. Locate the files and submit. Note that you can also import data in many of the other Workspaces.
The Dedoose Survey importer is one of our proudest achievements. This will take an existing data set in excel and transfer all the data into Dedoose. While powerful and intuitive, our survey importer works best when you follow the format discussed below.
Survey to Dedoose Project Creation
Creating fully populated Dedoose projects from SurveyMonkey or other data collection service output is an increasingly popular feature in Dedoose. Here's an overview and instructions on how to prepare data from survey responses and open-ended questions stored in an Excel file. Two main things to note:
To make this process most efficient and the results most useful, here’s what is required/recommended:
_ddqual_ to both force qual fields and to force titles for your docs
The survey import tool generally does a great job distinguishing close-ended descriptor data from narrative responses. The algorithm for doing so depends on what is found in a column based on the number of unique values (ex. gender would be 'male' or 'female') and the number of characters. Occasionally, you may have a qualitative field that has short responses or similar responses across participants that is misread as a descriptor field instead of an open ended field. For cases just like this, our Tech Team built a way for you to force the system to recognize these fields as qualitative:
Consolidating columns with the same title in a spreadsheet file:
Importing your data into Dedoose via a spreadsheet automatically defines descriptor fields, creates descriptors, creates codes, converts any narrative responses to tagged excerpts within a document for each case, and links the document to the appropriate descriptor. The importer does this by checking each column title, examining the data in each column, and then uses this information to parse the data. Should you have column titles that are not unique, the system will automatically consolidate them into the same question.
To learn about our recommendations on how best to prepare your data for import, please see Working with Media section of this user guide.
You can create or modify codes from a number of places. In the Codes Workspace, any place in Dedoose you see the Codes panel, or when viewing and excerpting media.
To add a new code, click the Edit Codes icon in the Codes panel header, click the plus sign in the panel header, define the code and click Submit. Exit Editing by clicking the slashed circle icon.
To change the structure of the code tree, click the Edit Codes icon in the Codes panel header, then drag and drop one code on another to render it a child code. You can also edit a code by floating over it and clicking the 'edit code' icon that will appear. Change the code level using the available controls and click Submit. Exit Editing by clicking the slashed circle icon.
You can also create codes using the Quick Code widget. When the widget is activated (see the section below, Creating and Tagging Excerpts), type the name of a new code in the search field, hit Enter, and the code is created, added to the tree, and applied to the excerpt you defined.
For much of the work you will do in Dedoose, saving is automatic, including uploading media, creating and tagging excerpts, linking media to descriptors... None of these actions require any active 'save' action on your part.
However, there are some places where you will want to be sure to click 'Save' or 'Submit' before moving away from the activity. This includes:
Note that most of these activities are related to project set-up, so will not be required on a frequent basis.
When viewing a media file, it is simple to create and tag excerpts.
With a document you have two ways to excerpt:
With video or audio, you use the blue brackets on the timeline to mark the excerpt start and end points, click the Create Excerpt button to enter excerpt editing mode, and then double click or drag and drop the codes into the Selection Info panel to apply the code.
The Analysis Workspace menu provides access to Dedoose’s existing interactive charts, tables, and plots. The different reports and various controls within each provide a variety of ways to visualize, explore, organize, discover, and present your findings.
You can access the Analysis Workspace by clicking the Analyze button on the Main Menu.
Many of these data visualizations populate automatically once your media have been linked to Descriptors and excerpting activity has taken place. Descriptors are sets of information you use to identify and describe the source of your media.
You access the Descriptors Workspace by clicking the Descriptors button on the Main Menu. That is where you can define and create or import your Descriptors. Descriptors are typically the characteristics of your research participants (e.g., ID, gender, experimental group, test score, race, responses to surveys), but can also be characteristics of settings in which observations are made or where participants interact (e.g., stores, schools, neighborhoods, cultures).
For more on using Descriptors, see Working with Descriptors.
Almost everything you store or create in Dedoose—visuals, sets of excerpts, descriptor data, or your entire project—can be exported to a document, spreadsheet, or other appropriate format.
The Export icon is the same on every panel or workspace where an export is possible.
The easiest way to export is from your project’s Home Dashboard. Click the Export Data button in the upper left summary panel and a menu of export options will be presented. From there, you determine whether you want to export all or part of your project and in which format.
For more on exporting from specific Workspaces, see the Exporting Section in this user guide.