The original QDAP lab was founded in the fall of 2005 by Dr. Stuart Shulman at the University of Pittsburgh. QDAP-UMass, founded in September of 2008 when Dr. Shulman moved to the Department of Political Science at UMass Amherst, trains and employs personnel able to code text from a wide variety of sources.
Original material for content analysis might include in-depth interviews, open-ended survey answers, field notes, transcripts from focus groups or Web logs (blogs), e-mails, Web site content, the entire Wikipedia, results from database searches (such as LexisNexis™), judicial decisions, presidential speeches, congressional testimony or other historical texts, and a host of other unstructured but digitized text data sets.
QDAP-UMass employs both UMass Amherst and University of Pittsburgh students, and professional staff trained in using ATLAS.ti (www.atlasti.com) as well as the Coding Analysis Toolkit, invented by Dr. Shulman. QDAP-UMass will continue to develop and make available online tools to improve the accuracy, reliability, and validity of coding projects.
In QDAP labs, our coders have seen data and coding problems from nursing, sociology, gerontology, psychology, political science, library science, law, journalism and computer science. The emphasis is on using software efficiently to measure and evaluate how well humans and computers can categorize text.