Shepherd University · Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.

Computer Assisted Content Analysis with Yoshikoder
For help with project and in-class activities
Comm 435: Communication Research

What is computer assisted content analysis? Use of computer software to aid in content analysis. Software counts and reports the frequency of keywords (the computer calls these ‘patterns’) which were entered into a code sheet (The code sheet is called a dictionary) on the computer. Program we’ll use: (free for Mac and PC) developed for the Identity Project at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Download: Terms in Yoshikoder: Preparing for Analysis 1. Dictionary = Code Sheet – a file we create and save that contains all of our categories and their patterns. This dictionary is used to analyze our text file. We can create it, or we can import and use an existing dictionary. 2. Category – Issue categories - Group of terms that represent an attribute or aspect of interest. a. Example: We can create a category called “Tired” one called “Awake”, etc. 3. Pattern – A pattern is a keyword that fits into a category. Many patterns (keywords) make up a category. As a simple example: a. Foreign affairs is our category. The words below are all the patterns (keywords) that make up foreign affairs. In other words, if any of the patterns appear in our text, the computer will categorize them in the “foreign affairs” category.

So: If the software were to analyze the following Tweet: i. Last night, Hillary Clinton said she felt great about American foreign policy c. How many times would the pattern “Foreign Affairs” be counted? i. The answer is: Twice. Once for “Hillary Clinton” and once for “foreign affairs.” d. Hint: To get possible uses of a word, enter a * after the word. Example: i. Run* - will count runner, running, runs. But not: ran. Analyzing Data Once a dictionary has been created or loaded into the program, the file you want to analyze must also be loaded (goto: Document -> Add Document). Analysis options are: 1. *what you want to do! * Content Analysis of your Dictionary –(Report -> Apply dictionary -> current document) See the # of times every category in your dictionary came up in the document being analyzed.


Shepherd University · Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.

a. To see frequency of each pattern (keywords) within a category, uncheck “show categories only” in the bottom of the window. 2. Total Word Count – (Report -> Count Words - > Current Document) This shows how many times each word in the entire document you loaded came up. It doesn’t matter if the word is in your dictionary or not. a. Very useful to see the ranking of each word in the file! 3. Highlight - (Highlight -> Highlight Entry) – this simply highlights all the keywords (patterns) in the document you are analyzing. Not super helpful – but you can see where the words pop up. 4. Concordance - (Concordance -> Make Concordance) - This provides keyword in context – allows the researcher to see the words surrounding the phrase, so the researcher can interpret the context in which the term is used to better code the data if necessary.