Create a Library

This ScreenCast shows how to create a Library in Transana, which is the first step in bringing source text and media data into the program.

(Be sure to read the section on Analytic Memos below after you watch the video.)

Create a Library

Before you can enter data into Transana, you must create a Library in which to place that data. A Library is simply a group of related source data files. In small studies, there may only be one Library named for the study. However, libraries can be very important for more complex studies with large numbers of data files that fall into different groupings. The Library is primarily intended to make it easier for you to find a particular source file.

As a general rule, the Library name should reflect the most salient thing about the source data files that will be grouped together. You can always rename your Library records and reorganize your Document and Episode records within them at any time. How you organize your source data files is independent of how you organize your analytic data later in the analytic process.

To create a Library, right-click or control-click the Library node in the database tree and choose Add Library from the pop-up menu. You see the dialog box on the right:

One of the ways we want to organize the data we’re using for the tutorial is by year, so we will enter ‘2008’ as the name of the Library where we will put some of our source data files.  Think about the major categories you want to place your source data files in, and choose one of them to create your first Library ID.

Enter your name or initials as the Owner, and select the name of a Keyword Group you created in the last section as the Default Keyword Group in the list.  (For the tutorial, we are choosing the ‘Stakeholder’ keyword group we previously created.) Click OK to close the dialog box and save the record to the database. Your Library should now appear in the database tree.

Analytic Memos

Create an Analytic Memo

We have just made our first important analytic decision by choosing what to call our Library. Let’s create an analytic memo to document this analytic step. To do this, right-click or command click on the name of the Library you just created and choose Add Library Note.

The function of this analytic memo is to document the reasoning behind the creation of our first Library. We can reflect that in our Note ID. Name the note (Name of Library) Purpose and put your name or initials under Note Taker. Click OK.

Start your analytic memo by pressing Ctrl-T on Windows or Cmd-T on OS X to get a date and time stamp to record when you wrote this particular analytic memo. Then write a brief explanation of the thinking behind the creation of your library.

Close your note when you are finished. Transana automatically saves the changes to your note when you close the note editor.

Being thorough with your analytic memo writing from the beginning of your project will be very important when you write up your analysis. Creating and modifying analytic memos is how researchers document the development of their thinking process using Transana.

It is a good practice to date and time stamp every entry you make in each note, and to avoid deleting content from your notes. Your thinking about your data will change as you work through your analysis. It is important to document the decisions you make as you analyze your data, the theoretical underpinnings of your choices and the new ideas that come to you as you immerse yourself in your data.

Getting into the habit of recording analytic memos, including those that indicate what ideas you rejected and why, makes it much easier for you to write up your findings when the time comes.

Advanced Topic:  In most cases, Transana gives you complete flexibility in how you organize your data. However, if you want to look for changes in coding patterns over time (i.e. if you want to do longitudinal qualitative analysis), all Documents and Episodes to be compared must be implemented in the same Library. See Reports later in the Tutorial for more information on this topic.