Keyword in CONTEXT
Lexical searches are extremely valuable for searching for specific words or phrases. MAXQDA has another tool, included in MAXQDA Plus and Analytic Pro, called "Keywords in Context." This is part of the MAXDICTIO package of tools.
Keyword in Context lets you do a word or phrase search, and then see the results in the "context" of several words before and after it. It makes it much easier to evaluate whether the word search is relevant.
You begin by selecting Keyword in Context from the MAXDICTIO menu.
The keyword in context dialog box looks similar to the one in lexical searches. You enter the words you want to search. The difference is it isn't a query in the same way in which you might look for this word OR that word. For Keyword in Context, each search term appears in the order of the search terms.
You can also create a custom dictionary of terms that the software can search on, but for this tutorial we will just do a word search.
Once again, you can choose where to conduct the search: in documents, in activated documents, or in the text in your retrieved segments window. The latter choice can be valuable if you have retrieved a lot of segments and want to explore it in greater depth.
For this example, I selected the context of 8 words before and after. The maximum words is 15 before and after.
The output now shows me the words that come before and after my keyword. You can do the same auto-coding that you did in Lexical searches, selecting and de-selecting results with the STOP icon or just clicking on the diamond to the left of the term.
You can also click on any result, and view it in the retrieved segments window, in broader context.
Keyword in Context can be valuable to see similarities in word usage. For a word search quoted from a legal opinion, like "the sniff is up to snuff," it is not surprising that judges largely are just repeating the same language.