Annotations and Memos

Let’s talk about the difference between annotations and memos in NVivo. I know I was confused about the nuances of the two when I first started using NVivo. An annotation is text linked to SPECIFIC content in a source and memos document links to an item for context or additional information. They are not synonymous. When you annotate textual data inside of NVivo, it is highlighted blue and the text of the annotation is displayed in the Annotations Tab, usually at the bottom of the window in most versions of NVivo.

Annotations are different from memos in that they let you record comments, reminders, or observations about SPECIFIC content in a file or code. Annotations also allow the researcher to include contextual information or observations that can become lost in the data or not be readily apparent in interview transcripts. Memos are usually designed to be a little more general in nature than annotations.

All of the below is NVivo version dependent:

To create and link a memo, all you really have to do is right click on the interview and select, “Memo Link.” You will be presented with two options here. You can either create a new memo or link to an existing memo. Which one you select is up to you depending on if you already have a memo created or not.

To create an annotation, go to an interview and select some text. On the ribbon, click on the annotations icon, and then select “Add Annotation.” A text box will appear where you can type the note or ‘annotation’ in the window. When you are done, the annotation will link to the text you selected, and you will see the text in the interview will remain highlighted in blue as long as you have it identified as an annotation. Hope this helps someone 😊. Till next week! Be blessed.

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