Source Classifications



Source Classifications are useful because they allow you to record information about your sources, such as what type of source it is (newspaper article, journal article, webpage) and its bibliographic data (author/reporter, year, etc).



To Create a New Source Classification:

In the Classification folder -> Select "Source Classifications" from the upper portion of the Navigation View -> Right-click in the Detail View -> Select either "Create a New Classification" in order to make one from scratch.











To Import a Classification Sheet:

Select "Source Classifications" from the upper portion of the Navigation View -> Right-click in the Detail View -> Select "Import Classification Sheet" to import an Excel file -> The "Import Classification Sheets Wizard" will open and guide you through the importing process -> Step 1 browse and select the appropriate file -> On Step 2, select "Source Classification" -> The first box will be checked, but you may check the second and third box if they apply -> Select the options for Step 3 and Step 4 that fit your needs -> Select "Finish"


Node Classifications


Node Classifications allow you to record information about your case nodes, aka nodes that are people, organizations, institutions, etc. This is where you will add demographic information in order to organize your data by high-level characteristics.

High-level characteristics are characteristics that can be applied to the whole project, for instance, instead of making a node for male and female, you would apply these descriptors as "values".

These high-level characteristics act as a hierarchy:

  • Classifications (Person, Institution)
  • Attributes (Gender, Age, Funding, etc)
  • Values (Male/Female, 30/40/50, Public/Private)


It is easiest to deal with node classifications by starting at the lowest level of the hierarchy aka which values do you want to look at in your project?  Decide the values and then go up the hierarchy.

NVivo will separate your classifications by personal or institutional. There is no limit to how many classifications you can have in a project.




In order to create Node Classifications, you will first need to create "Case Nodes".



To Create a Case Node:

From the Navigation View select "Sources" -> Right-click -> Select “create as” -> Select “create as case nodes”. Now you will be able to create a classification system for these nodes.



To Create a New Node Classification:


  1. Classification: Select the "Classifications" section from the Navigation View -> Right-click in the List View -> Select "new classification" (you can use NVivo’s predefined classifications, however this option comes with preset attributes which may or may not be useful or pertinent to your project) -> Create your classification, for instance “Person”.



  1. Attribute: Right-click on “Person” -> Select “New Attribute”, for instance “Gender” -> Add all the genders you would like to consider into the table that appears.
  2. Classify the cases: Next you need to make a bridge between the node and the classification -> Select all the nodes you want to consider as a “person” -> Right-click -> Go to “Classification” -> Select “Person”.
  3. Values: A table should have appeared -> Select the correct values from the drop-down menus.
  4. Steps 1-4 can be taken care of by importing an excel file as well.




You may also want to import an excel sheet that contains classifications.  This can be easily done, please refer to the directions for "Import a Classification Sheet" located above under "Source Classifications".

Attributes and values can be used in a Matrix alongside nodes in order to analyze how something such as gender or age effects certain themes.


Relationship Types


A Relationship Type is a certain type of classification.  When you create a relationship, you are also prompted to define the sort of relationship you are inferring.  For instance, when creating the relationship: "sunlight 'impacts' flower growth" you will be prompted to label the relationship type.


Relationship Types:

  • One-way = Indicates that there is a directional relationship between the two items in the relationship. For instance, "sunlight impacts flower growth".
  • Associative = Demonstrates that the items involved in the relationship are affiliated. These relationships must work both ways.  For instance, "Sarah knows John"
  • Symmetrical = Demonstrates that there is two-way activity between the two items of the relationship. For instance, "Karen is married to John".


Relationship Types are useful in an NVivo project because they enable you to sort through relationships based on their type, and they can help you keep track of any theories you have or develop about how your themes relate to one another.