A review of software applications and non‐software approaches in JAN
Results showed that some researchers use more than one software package for data analysis. Table 1 (row 3) shows that IBM SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) used on its own is the most commonly used software for quantitative studies, thirty‐nine (51%), research methodology studies six (43%), mixed‐method studies (three of 10) and clinical trials (three out of four). SPSS is also the most popular application used in conjunction with other software applications. Table 1 shows that it was used with one other software packages in 14 (18%) of quantitative studies and it was used alongside three additional software packages for one of 10 mixed‐method studies. No software featured as the most likely software application used alongside SPSS. However, SPSS and SPSS for analysis of moment structures (AMOS) were reported in a small number of studies, four (5%) of quantitative studies. Apart from SPSS, in the research methodology category, one study used three software packages (STATISTICA, MedCalc and Factor). Table 1 shows that some articles, seven quantitative studies (9%) did not report software usage despite reporting complex data analysis. Table 1 shows that all 10 mixed method studies reported the use of software and also cited Author(s) to provide justification for either, methodology, guidelines or general approach to data analysis and two of the 10 mixed method studies cited (Braun & Clarke 2006).
Table 1 shows that only five (21%) of the 24 review articles used software, two used RevMan, one used either STATA, Atlas.ti or NVvivo. Two of these five reviews also cited Author(s) that provided guidelines, methodology or analyses approach. In addition, as little as two (8%) of all 24 reviews used RevMan and one (4%) used STATA software indicating the small number of reviews suitable for meta‐analysis. Most of the review articles, 19 (79%) used software‐free methods with eight (33%) citing (Whittemore & Knafl 2005) as the most applied software‐free methodology.
Table 2 shows that software was applied in 27 (48%) of all 56 qualitative articles. Table 2 also shows that NVivo used on its own is the singularly most popular software of choice for qualitative analysis; used in 17 (30%) of articles.