Working with Paraphrases

31.10.2018, 14:06

Dear all,

I am using the paraphrase function to write summaries of sections, which I then copy out of MAXQDA to use in documents. I am pretty happy with the basic paraphrase functionality, being able to select a section of text, paraphrase it and then have the comment next to the section (although there is a minor issue here as well, which I'll get to below). My problems lies in working with the paraphrases after this part.

As of now, I am copying my paraphrases out of the text manually, by clicking the paraphrase windows and opening them for editing, which is a pretty laborious process. I haven't found a better way of doing it, yet. Since I retrieve relevant sections with the complex coding query function (it is a large and complex dataset), I cannot access the paraphrases as comments in the retrieved segments window. The paraphrases themselves apparently can't be displayed as retrieved segments. The only place I seem to be able to have them listed as text that can easily be copied is in the summary grid function. But here, they pop up alongside all coded and paraphrased segments within any given text (since summary grid only seems to support simple coding query), since I cannot seem to select them using my complex coding query.

One thing I have considered is retrieving all sections that are relevant using the complex coding query, recoding them individually (we would be talking about 40+ separate coding queries and corresponding unique codes) and then simple coding-retrieving them so I am able to use the comment column in the retrieved segment section.

My current process would be doable (although labor intensive), if there wasn't another issue: Since Paraphrases pop up in a column next to the text and cannot be collapsed, I sometimes have issues clicking on paraphrases. This is particularly the case for dense segments of text where the paraphrases go down further than the text itself and the window it is displayed in. In these cases, I am unable to click on the paraphrases except through the Categorize Paraphrases Window, which, again, is not ideal.

Am I missing something here? Would appreciate any pointers in case I am not aware of additional functions. But consultations of the manual have come up with nothing.

Besides the workaround that I suggested and that I am avoiding as of now, I can imagine several other solutions to this:
1. Enable displaying of paraphrases in the retrieved segments window
2. Enable copying out of paraphrases by clicking on the paraphrases within their column or the paraphrased text (similar do how paraphrases themselves have been implemented within MAXQDA) - this would have to be in connection with an easier way to display paraphrases side-by-side with text.

My preferred way of doing it would be
3. Enabling a better use of the summary grid. This is the only function outside the document view where paraphrases are displayed as text next to the coded segments. If the goal is to move coded segments further along into a written product, this seems like it would be the most appropriate tool for added functionality.

Let me know if I have missed an obvious solution to this problem, otherwise we can move this to feature requests. I hope I described the problem clearly, otherwise I'd be happy to provide screenshots.

Best regards,

Version: MAXQDA 2018
System: Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra)
Posts: 2
Joined: 31.10.2018, 11:52

Re: Working with Paraphrases

31.10.2018, 16:31

I have now found a doable workaround, which is to export the output of the complex coding query into an Excel sheet, and opening the categorize paraphrases window. What I do now is to manually look up the relevant segments in the Excel table (based on the query) and then copy and paste the paraphrases out of the categorize paraphrases window into Word.

This, however, has several issues. It requires a lot of moves and clicks (1. Find section in Excel, 2. Open MAXQDA, 3. Find section in categorize paraphrase window, 3. Copy relevant paraphrase, 4. Paste paraphrase into word, 5. Repeat). It also basically requires two screens. I did in on my laptop and the number of screens is chaotic and crowds the desktop (categorize paraphrases opens as a full window and blocks access to MAXQDA in the background).

The issues I've mentioned above still remain, particularly the impossibility of scrolling between paraphrases in cases where paraphrase text is more dense than the document view text. But this workaround is doable for people who work this way and have two screens available. I would not like to work like this in a library or (god forbid) in the field.
Posts: 2
Joined: 31.10.2018, 11:52

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