Attaching keywords to text segments

In speech or written text, an idea may be verbalised in many ways, without ever using the keyword that precisely defines it (such as talking about our various car-servicing experiences without ever using the word 'garage', or 'dealer' or the phrase 'car-servicing experience'). If the researcher wants to examine a text for topics it is necessary to break the text down into segments that represent topic units and attach to each the appropriate keyword. All the segments that deal with the same topic can then be brought together or assembled by a keyword and interpreted. This again is something that can well be applied in analysing the transcriptions of focus group discussions.

This kind of data manipulation is only possible if the data do not consist of continuous text, but are structured chunks of information that are put into fields:

Output of Longman Concordance program, searching on 'aluminium foil'

then one or more keywords are attached that in some way signify the content of any particular field. A search can then be done using the keyword and all fields that have the appropriate content are reproduced. All database systems provide this facility.

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