F: Teamwork

1. Styles of teamwork

MAXQDA offers three different options for working in a team:

  • All team members work on the same project file alternately.

  • All team members work with the same text material and exchange their codings, memos, and variables.

  • All team members work with different texts and want to merge their partial projects to one single project.


2. Alternately working on the same project

The first option is very easy to do. If your team works on the same computer on different days, it is possible for every team member to simply sign in with their own user name in MAXQDA and open the aforementioned project file (see Chapter A). All program objects (documents, codes, memos, and codings) receive the same “stamp” (username), which gives information about who created which code/coding/memo and when.

You can also send your project file via E-mail to another team member. Just make sure that you do not work on that file on your computer in the meantime, and wait until the other team member sends his worked-on file back. Simply click Open other projects in the startup window of MAXQDA and search for the project file that has been sent to you.


3. Exchanging and comparing codings, memos, and variables

Codings, memos, and variables, which have been created by different team members, can be merged with the help of the Teamwork export or Teamwork Import functions. These functions can also be used to compare codings. It is necessary, however, that the body of data remains identical; the team members exchange memos, codings, and variables, but the texts remain unedited. This is how it works:

Teamwork Export:

You can export all codings, memos, and variables of a text, an entire text group, or all texts by right-clicking on the desired text group or text in the Document System and clicking on Teamwork export. The file can then be saved to a chosen spot. Teamwork exchange files have the extension .mex. This export file can now be transferred to others in the team (by E-mail, for example).

Teamwork Import:

To insert a colleague’s team work, right-click on the text or text group that has been worked on and choose Teamwork import from the context menu.

You have the option of selecting only particular elements out of the teamwork export file. You can choose which exported text elements should be integrated into which target texts (this may be important in case you have identically named texts in your project file). You can also select the elements to be imported: variables, codings, and/or memos. The default setting imports all elements. In order to be in control of the import procedures, it is recommended that you create a protocol file. This keeps track of which texts has been imported with which codings, memos, and variables. Codings will be listed with codes and subcodes, as well as paragraphs.

Comparison of codings by different team members:
At the very beginning of a project it might be helpful to create the codings individually and then to compare them with your other team members.

We will now guide you step-by-step, in order for you to complete this procedure successfully: 

Every team member creates a main code with his/her name and all codes that this user creates should then be inserted as subcodes of this main code. It is also helpful if each person uses his/her own code color.

Exporting after the coding phase:
You can export your codings by right-clicking on the given text group or text and selecting Export teamwork. Select the target folder and enter a file name. This creates a .mex file, which you can then send to the person, who wants to import your codings.


For importing:
Before importing, it is recommended that you create a backup copy of the project, since it is not possible to undo the import. To import a colleague’s codings, variables, and memos, right-click on the text or text group that has been worked on and choose Import teamwork. Make sure that you have selected the same text or text group that your team member selected when exporting. Search for the appropriate .mex file in the pop-up window and confirm with the Open button. In the import window you can now choose which parts of the text material you would like to import. You can choose variables, codings, and memos

Now it is possible to compare the different codings. In the Code System window, there will now be an additional main code tag with the name of your team member (see screenshot). All codings created by one team member have their own color so it is very easy to distinguish where there have been differences or consensus during the coding process. Usually this is a very good way to start discussing the coding of the material with your team members.


4. Merging of projects

Save the file to be imported on your computer. If you do not have a practice file available, use the sample project “media project.mx4”, which you will find in the folder C:\Programs\MAXQDA10\Examples\Eng.

Merge your project “test project” with the second project “media project”, by choosing Project - Merge projects from the main menu bar. A dialog box pops up asking which project should be imported. This procedure adds all not yet available Memos, Codings, Codes, texts, and Variables to your project.

Note: identical texts existing in both projects will be doubled during the merge procedure. If you want to avoid this, use the style of teamwork mentioned beforehand!

More information in the MAX Manual

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