About the service

The University of Waterloo has licensed the qualitative analysis software NVivo for teaching and research activities.

Who can use NVivo?

Starting with the Spring 2023 term, the University of Waterloo has purchased NVivo licenses to support teaching and research activities based at the University of Waterloo. The licenses are managed by Information Systems and Technology. More information can be found at NVivo - IST Knowledge Base. This license replaces the one based in the Faculty of Health up to December 2022. 

How do I use NVivo?

  1. An online version of NVivo can be run on any computer using a browser, from anywhere. This is the preferred option for teaching. You can use the instructions on our Virtual Computing Lab page or contact Health Computing Office staff for assistance.
  2. Another option exists for local installations – this involves completing the NVivo Licence Request form and downloading and installing the software on your own computer (Windows or Mac).

What versions of NVivo are available?

  • NVivo 14 is the current release and is the only version available under this agreement.
  • Note that NVivo 14 can open and convert files from previous versions of the software but earlier versions cannot use version 14 files.
  • Mac and Windows versions are available for use also (do not use both on the same data files). 

How do I switch from the Faculty of Health license to the new UW license?

Health Computing has created NVivo accounts for anyone licensed under the previous Faculty of Health license. If you have been running the software with the license key issued from us, you need to deactivate your current license and move your installation over to the new license. To deactivate your current license:

  1. Launch NVivo (or close any open projects)
  2. Click the File tab,
  3. Select the Product Info option on the left toolbar
  4. Select Manage License option and then Deactivate License.
  5. Confirm deactivation, and close NVivo.

See: Activating NVivo (Deactivate NVivo - qsrinternational.com)

Once that is done, you can then start NVivo and sign in when prompted using your new myNVivo account.

Why should I use NVivo online instead of installing the software on my computer?

  • The biggest benefit of using the service is that you can get at your data and programs with only a network connection and a browser.
  • If you are using a Mac and need to share the file with others who use Windows, you should use the online version because the Mac and Windows versions are not compatible (NVivo will convert between Mac and Windows file formats). 

Are there cases where using NVivo online is not a good choice?

  • If you want or need to access your data offline (without an internet connection) you will need to have NVivo installed locally on your computer.

Obtain NVivo Software

How do I use NVivo with data on the server?

  • If you are using the online version, we recommend using OneDrive to store your data as this location is accessed easily in the online environment. Our Virtual Computing Lab page also has a section on you can access other network storage locations from within NVivo and SPSS.
  • If you are running NVivo on your computer, you will need to map that network location as a drive on your computer. The process to map a network drive differs according to the type of computer you are using: 

What is the best way to have multiple people to accessing the same dataset?

  • NVivo will not allow more than one person to work on a standalone project file at any point in time. QSR recommends that "If more than one user wants to work on a project at the same time, teams can establish a ‘master’ project and provide a copy of the master project to each team member. At regular intervals, team members’ work can be merged into the master project." (Teamwork).
  • Some additional advice for managing master files can be found at Strategies for managing teamwork.

Where do I go for help?

  •  Computing can provide assistance if you are having difficulty logging in to the service.
  • If you need assistance with NVivo programming, you should contact your course TA or instructor.
  • NVivo offers online tutorials (Windows, Mac), and on-demand webinars that can help you get up and running.
  • LinkedIn Learning has a few introductory level courses on using NVivo.
  • There is extensive help available (online: Windows, Mac) and under the File menu or clicking the ? at the top right anywhere within the software.