CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Journal of Social Health and Diabetes 2015; 03(01): 007-010
DOI: 10.4103/2321-0656.140875
Methodological Issues in Social Health and Diabetes Research
NovoNordisk Education Foundation

The second step in data analysis: Coding qualitative research data

Heather L. Stuckey
Department of Medicine and Public Health Sciences, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, USA
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Publication History

Publication Date:
21 November 2018 (online)



Coding is a process used in the analysis of qualitative research, which takes time and creativity. Three steps will help facilitate this process:

1. Reading through the data and creating a storyline;

2. Categorizing the data into codes; and

3. Using memos for clarification and interpretation.

Remembering the research question or storyline, while coding will help keep the qualitative researcher focused on relevant codes. A data dictionary can be used to define the meaning of the codes and keep the process transparent. Coding is done using either predetermined (a priori) or emergent codes, and most often, a combination of the two. By using memos to help clarify how the researcher is constructing the codes and his/her interpretations, the analysis will be easier to write in the end and have more consistency. This paper describes the process of coding and writing memos in the analysis of qualitative data related to diabetes research.