Content Analysis

Content Analysis allows you to better understand how topics are being discussed in such things as the news media. It also refers, more generally, to a set of methods for coding, categorizing, and analysing bodies of text.

What is Content Analysis?

Content analysis refers to a general set of techniques useful for analysing and understanding collections of text.  There is considerable work done in this area, which predates Internet research by decades.  In the context of understanding the impact of digitised collections and websites, one particularly relevant type of content analysis is the analysis of news articles.  These news articles may be about the collection, or they may be about the type of resource in general.

Software Tools for Content Analysis

The tools needed for content analysis operate at two levels: the tools needed to find the content, and the tools needed to analyse the content.

Finding the Content

Content analysis can be applied to any kind of textual data, but in the case we are interested primarily in the content of news about the websites in which we are interested.  There are several major sources of this data:

Content analysis: Short bibliography

How-to:

Richards, L. (2009). Handling Qualitative Data: A Practical Guide (2nd Edition). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Saldana, J. (2012). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers (2nd Edition). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Other useful texts:

Macais, S & Lewis LS. (2003). A content analysis of direct-to-consumer (DTC) prescription drug web sites, Journal of Advertising 32 (4), pp 43-56

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