About Us

Qualitative Research and Mixed Methods Research Using Dedoose


Our Team



About Us Overview

‘Necessity,’ yet again, the ‘Mother of Invention.’  Eli Lieber, Ph.D., a research psychologist, started working with Thomas S. Weisner, Ph.D., an anthropologist, at the UCLA Center for Culture in Health back in the late 1990s.  Together, they co-direct a Lab that engages in and supports research where qualitative and/or mixed methods are being used. People who had tried traditional qualitative data analysis software were abandoning.  Instead, tag, search, and retrieve macros in Word did most of what they needed and that was way cheaper and much easier to learn.  So for mixed methods projects, survey data were being crunched in stats programs and, then, very manually, mapped to the qualitative results where charts could be built in Excel.  The trend?—more and more mixed methods studies, people work on PCs and Macs—some barely comfortable with a word processor, and research teams spread out across the country.

How to do all this more efficiently and effectively?

The Internet was then showing itself to be a great place start answering that very question.

We had the concept and began cobbling something together and the computer scientists told us to, ‘go build it yourself.’  Handed it to Jason Taylor, an outstanding and innovative programmer, and, BAM, you’ve got Dedoose.

To us, it is all about doing Great Research with maximum effectiveness and efficiency.  As proud as we are to bring you a fantastic research tool, we are much more than Dedoose. We are experts in supporting all aspects of research and we believe strongly in the value of research that employs innovative, systematic, and rigorous methods.  Finally, we are your gateway to a network of professional researchers with methodological and applied experience and expertise.

The Team

A fantastic and evolving product, guided by expert researchers and programmers, within a culture of deep understanding of researcher needs and sincere caring for our user community—that’s us in a nutshell! Key players at Dedoose (and you can click through to learn more) include Eli Lieber—our leader on the ground, soccer fanatic, endless volunteer, husband to Teresa, and daddy; Tom Weisner—our spiritual leader, UCLA sports fan, viola player, husband to Susan, and grand-daddy; Jason Taylor—our technical leader, outdoors fanatic, off-road driver, son, and daddy to Sammy (hee, hee, Sammy is his dog); Ioakim Boutakidis—our visionary consultant, man of the world, food lover, cigar aficionado, husband to Chanel, and daddy; and Alina Lieber—our customer experience maestro, dance queen, math wizard, cat lover, organizational master, and awesome big sister.

Eli Lieber - Ph.D., Co-Founder, President, and CEO

Dr. Lieber’s professional career focuses on developing and implementing strategies and solutions for effectively and efficiently conducting integrated (mixed methods) research. Initially trained as a quantitative psychologist specializing in social-cognitive development and measurement, his post-doctoral training and subsequent work have included teaming with colleagues from a wide variety of other social science disciplines. The results of this experience—expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods—have proven ideal for his present focus on integrated methods and research design. In particular, he has earned a sterling reputation for developing creative strategies to maximize the use of technology in social science research—his contributions to the development of Dedoose being one primary outcome

Dr. Lieber’s research interests center on socio-cultural impacts on disease transmission and prevention, Asian and Asian immigrant family experiences, literacy development, children with Type 1 diabetes and their families, social cognitive development, parenting, and the general adaptation of families to the challenges of immigration and a modernizing world. He received his B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Northridge (1988) and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (1996). He currently holds the position of Associate Research Psychologist and Co-Director of the Fieldwork and Qualitative Data Research Laboratory, Semel Institute, Center for Culture and Health, UCLA.

Thomas S. Weisner - Ph.D. and Co-Founder

Dr. Weisner is an internationally-recognized leader in the systematic application of mixed methods in the social sciences. His research interests are in culture and human development, medical, psychological and cultural studies of families and children at risk, mixed methods research, and evidence-based policy studies. Working for decades with multi-disciplinary groups, Dr. Weisner has made major contributions to the development of methods for the study of families and children. He has developed the Ecocultural Family Interview for understanding the everyday routine of family life – a mixed methods approach

Dr. Weisner’s research includes studies in Kenya, Hawaii, and the U.S. He has studied sibling caretaking of children, families with children with disabilities, countercultural families and children, working poor families and children, and early literacy in Head Start programs. He is co-author of Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and Their Children (2007), with Greg Duncan and Aletha Huston; co-editor of Making it work: Low-wage employment, family life and child development (2006), with Hiro Yoshikawa & Edward Lowe; editor of Discovering successful pathways in children's development: New methods in the study of childhood and family life (2005); and co-editor of African families and the crisis of social change (1997), with Candice Bradley and Phil Kilbride. In addition, he has published some 150 research papers, chapters, and reviews. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from Reed College (1965) and Ph.D. from Harvard University (1973). He is currently a Professor of Anthropology, Departments of Psychiatry (Semel Institute, Center for Culture and Health), and Anthropology, at UCLA.

Jason Taylor - Architect and CTO

Jason has been with Dedoose since before it's inception, as the developer of Dedooses predecessor EthnoNotes. He is a Los Angeles based Rich Internet Application Architect that led the product development for the original EthnoNotes web application, and now Dedoose software platform. With more than 15 years of experience in developing distributed software applications, Jason has the extensive experience and immense passion required to bring Dedoose to life. If he isn't leading the Dedoose engineering team he's off building robots, 4x4ing to some remote lake to teach his dog to fish, or working on a forge to make damascus steel.

Ioakim Boutakidis, Ph. D., Consultant and Mixed Method Visionary

Dr. Boutakidis is a professor of Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University, Fullerton. His research focuses primarily on ethnic minority youth and academic achievement, including examination of the roles of attitudinal, attributional, and socio-structural variables. He is currently working to reduce achievement gaps and graduation rate differentials at the university that negatively affect traditionally under-represented minority youth. Most recently, he accepted an invitation to serve in the Autism Center in the College of Health and Human Development to help with the examination of socio-cultural variables in Autism and spectrum diagnoses and treatment.

He has used mixed methods design and analyses and believes in the power of these approaches to reveal patterns and processes not apparent when quantitative or qualitative approaches are used alone. He has conducted numerous workshops, trainings, and consultations on mixed methods designs with faculty across various disciplines as well as public service and community organizations. He deeply believes in doing research the right way and keeping to the highest ethical standards. These principles help guide him in his service on the university's Institutional Review Board, which must approve all research proposals from the campus before they can begin.

Alina Lieber, Customer Experience Manager

Alina joined the Dedoose team on a full time basis in 2013 with a passion for mathematics and computer science. Her rich background in these areas, years of experience managing and teaching youth in a variety of areas, and stellar interpersonal skills was perfect preparation for her organizing and leading all customer experience activities at Dedoose central. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Occidental College and, after a couple of internship periods at Dedoose, quickly rose from serving as a full time customer support representative to her current managerial position. She is responsible for managing and guiding development of all resources available to the Dedoose user community and works tirelessly to continually improve these supports.

Our History

We are first and foremost a team of professionally trained and active social science researchers with decades of experience using psychological and anthropological research methods. We work at the cutting-edge of mixed methods research design, implementation, and qualitative analysis. In the late 1990s, as increasing amounts of mixed methods research was being carried out, we found ourselves challenged by the lack of tools and technologies available to meet our research needs

How were we going to efficiently manage, share, and analyze the increasing amounts of data being collected by members of often geographically distributed teams

No software or other technological solutions was addressing the challenges we faced, so we pondered what a solution would look like

Key Issues included:

  • Team members responsible for different tasks, with varying levels of computer savvy
  • People working on different computer platforms
  • Researchers working from varying epistemological positions
  • Qualitative data taking varying forms and the need to integrate survey, test, demographic and other data collected in mixed method projects
  • Limited resources including, budgets, time, and skill sets

Further, people were abandoning traditional qualitative data analysis software because they were expensive, complicated to learn and use, and included many features not deemed necessary or useful, particularly as more mixed method and collaborative approaches became the gold standard.

The Solution needed to be:

  • Intuitive—easy to start using and having accessible features throughout
  • Collaborative
  • Fluid in integrating different types of data
  • Platform independent
  • Rich with mixed method data management and analysis features
  • Secure
  • Inexpensive

Nothing existed that came close to meeting our needs, so we decided to build something for ourselves to make our own lives easier and our work more efficient.  EthnoNotes for Filemaker Pro was born and it worked!  Even better, people loved what we were building and gave great feedback on how we could continue to build it out.

FileMaker Pro was soon too limiting and the computer science consultants all told us, ‘Hey, you know what you want, so just go build it yourself.’

Find a bunch of money, find a Jason Taylor, lock him in a room with Eli for countless hours to creatively problem solve and design and BAM!  EthnoNotes the RIA (Rich Internet Application—web-application) was completed and delivered.

Bring on a rapidly growing user community filled with super happy researchers and we knew we had created something of great value. The problem for us was that we were still a (really) small company and as we watched technologies advance, we knew we wanted so much more from EthnoNotes.

So what next?

Gut check, solve some finance challenges, find the right people, and up the game.

Done!  And, where are we today?

Today we are delighted to bring you Dedoose, “Great Research Made Easy.” Dedoose takes advantage of the absolute frontier of Internet technologies and delivers a powerful, feature-rich, collaborative, inexpensive web-application. We’ve learned a lot along the way. Dedoose does everything that users loved in EthnoNotes and so much more—more intuitive, faster, more transparent, easier to learn, rapid evolution, and it is so very very cool.


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