Dedoose is an easy-to-use, collaborative, web based application that facilitates all types of research data management and analysis. Here's what you need to know about how to use it.
The use of memos is an important part of many methodological traditions and educational and teamwork practices. For example, they are key to best practices in grounded theory in the tracking of design and analytical thinking during a project. Memos can be very useful to support a rigorous code system development process in collaborative qualitative and/or mixed method research. Further, memos can be used to communicate to students or research team members over the course of a class or research project. The memo system in Dedoose, fully revamped in late 2014, is designed to be as flexible as possible to allow for any researcher, team, or instructor to make use of the system in efficient and effective ways. Memos in Dedoose are organized in a custom, user-defined, group structure depending on a project’s specific needs. Memos can be free floating, not linked to any items in a project database, or linked to any number of items. Being able to build groups for memos gives the researcher the freedom to organize memos in any number of ways. Finally, Dedoose memos can be easily exported to Word or Excel format files for local use in manuscript preparation, fodder for team discussion, data sharing, and report generation.
Examples of how one can use the Dedoose memo system include:
The Memos Workspace Pop-Up
The Memos Workspace is a movable and sizable pop-up in Dedoose. As seen in the left panel in the above snapshot, the workspace includes fields for filtering by memo title, content, date of creation, groups, and/or linked items. This example shows the memo filtered to just those in the ‘Reflection Memos’ group. From this view memos can be created, opened, edited, added or removed from groups, imported, and deleted. Further, when one or more memos is selected, context menus for exporting, adding to new groups, and saving as documents to be treated as media in the project for excerpting and tagging will appear above the selected memos (as shown in the next screen shot).
Finally, it is important to note that the Memo Workspace and memos can be left open when working on other aspects of a database and, if needed, resized or minimized to allow for easier viewing and navigating in other Workspaces.
Creating a New Memo
Memos can be created within the Memos Workspace or created and linked directly to any object in Dedoose. To create a new memo in the Memos Workspace:
Note that new memo groups can only be created when creating a new memo or editing a memo. Once the group is created, it can be used to link or remove other memos.
Linking Memos to Database Objects
While it is not necessary to link a memo to an object in Dedoose, it is often desirable and this can be done from the Memos Workspace or when working with the object in question.
To link a new or existing memo in the Memos Workspace:
To link a new or existing memo directly to an object:
Open up the ‘Memos’ button or icon associated with the object you wish to link
Upon clicking the memo button or icon you are presented with a memo pop-up with options to create a new memo for linking or to link an existing memo. Here is an example of selecting ‘Create New Memo,’ selecting the ‘Coding Memos’ group for storage and providing a title and content:
Click Save to link memo and you can then link additional new or existing memos to the object or exit the routine:
Finally, again, the memo, or other newly linked memos, can be left open, resized, minimized, and/or moved if you wish to add content as you carry out further excerpting activities.
To export any or all of your memos:
Click ‘Export,’ select the appropriate format, provide a description (if desired), and select any additional information you wish to include in export (note that while excerpt text, codes, and descriptor content will be included, only media titles will be present in export):
The memo importing feature allows users to share memos and associated content from one Dedoose project to another. To import memos:
Tile or Grid Viewing
In the Memo Workspace, you have the option to view memos in a tile format (the default) or a grid format. You can toggle these views by clicking the ‘Switch to Tile (or Grid) View’ option in the upper right corner of the pop-up.
When in the Memos Workspace you can use the ‘Sort By:’ drop down menu items to sort your memos by Date Created, User, or Title Creation Date. When in Grid View, you can also sort by any of the columns by simply clicking the column header.
Editing and Deleting Memos and Memo Groups
To edit memo text, title, or groups a memo belongs to:
To delete a memo:
To edit or delete a memo group:
Click on the edit icon next to the group you wish to edit or delete—the snapshot below shows your memo group editing options
Edit the group title and click the save icon, click the ‘X’ icon next to the group title to delete the group, or click the cancel icon if you change your mind and you’ve completed making the desired changes.
To add multiple memos to the same Memo Group:
Saving a Memo as a Project Document for Excerpting and Tagging
To save memos as project media files so you can excerpt and tag content: