Conducting a thorough literature review is an essential part of any research, and it will help you sharpen your research focus. Nevertheless, literature reviews are often one of the most difficult aspects of the research journey. Novice researchers are often left struggling with traditional approaches, today even further so with the overwhelming quantity of research available online.
Since NVivo is not a reference managing tool, this is where EndNote steps in.
EndNote is the market-leading reference management tool. EndNote easily lets you collect references from online databases, import full-text PDFs, and insert and create citations and bibliographies. Of course, you can also export your whole library (reference database) to NVivo. You can read more about the import here.
With EndNote you can leave behind the tedious work of formatting bibliographies, searching for references, and finding full-text articles.
With more than 6000 connection files to online databases, more than 700 import filters, and more than 6900 formatting styles for different Journals you are set to go.
On top of that everything is searchable including any attached PDF content and your comments.
With EndNote all information is stored in your library, including your attached files. It cannot be easier to make backups or move your data to another computer.
If you choose to, you further get an EndNoteOnline premium account. The online account allows you to sync your library (no size limitation) and access your library via a web browser or sync it to another computer. The online account also allows you to share all your references (or some) with other people.
Since EndNote is not a tool for literature reviews, this is where NVivo steps in.
NVivo is a tool for analyzing unstructured data, e.g. text, pictures, video, and audio.
Luckily NVivo also has direct support for importing your EndNote library including your attached full-text PDFs. You can read more about the import here.
NVivo helps you keep track of your articles, key findings, and influential authors when conducting your literature review. It imports PDFs and bibliographic information from reference management software, efficiently organizes, consolidates, and tags literature, helps you keep track of critical quotes and track ideas across many articles. It also handles the notes you take from books and reflections on your readings.
With NVivo, all information is stored in one place meaning text is always linked directly to the source. This also means you can reshuffle your work without losing reference information.
With NVivo 12 Plus you can use the social network feature to explore relationships between your articles, authors, and books. You may want to map out which researchers write together and analyze the clusters of researchers working in a field. Or you may want to code when an author cites, critiques, supports or expands on ideas from other articles.
The processes involved in literature reviews are very similar to those involved in qualitative data analysis. In both, you read and reflect on the text, make comments, identify key themes, look for great quotes, identify contradictions, and so on.
Consider the below example under two different scenarios
1. just using EndNote or NVivo
2. using EndNote in conjunction with NVivo
With NVivo you can store various attributes about your references, such as year of publication, the methodology used, and country of origin. NVivo has powerful query tools that allow you to examine your coding across attributes. For example, if you make a review of the literature relating to interviewing, you might be interested in how authors discuss software and technology across different disciplines. You could then code at a node for ‘Software and technology’ and include an attribute for author discipline. This then means you can run a Matrix Coding Query in NVivo to examine this relationship.
- The product page for EndNote
- Using NVivo for literature reviews and the benefits (Blog)