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Digital Replay System vs Transana


I’m here at the NCeSS (the National Centre for eSocial Science) 14th International Conference in Manchester. I presented my paper this morning (more on that later, as the digital resources emerge!). The conference itself has proved a useful mix of technical, applied and theoretical research papers. Yesterday I attended a paper presented by Patrick Brundell and Svenja Adolphs, from Nottingham University discussing the Digital Replay System (DRS) a tool for data analysis in social science research. As a result of their presentation I’ll be experimenting with DRS as a preferable alternative to Transana (Nvivo also, by implication).

How is it preferable?  Despite Transana’s low cost, it’s worth noting that DRS is free. DRS is designed to allow multiple sources of qualitative data to be coded – for example, alternative video streams. It also allows extremely sensitive time coding and multiple coding streams to identify and correlate different elements of the video/visual data being scrutinised. For example, synchronous speech, gesture and eye movement. Importantly, DRS can also import and retain data already transcribed in Transana.  Unfortunately it is also worth noting that DRS is in the prototype stage – so it’s ultimate longevity is not guaranteed (funding is currently in place via the NCeSS). To take a look at the Digital Replay Systems go straight to the Source(Forge) to download or check out the developer’s area on the University site. 

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