About teamwork


Many projects involve multiple researchers working together. You can collaborate in a standalone project (by regularly merging your work) or combine NVivo and NVivo Server so that everyone can work together in the same project at the same time.

In this topic


Can my team collaborate in a project?

Yes, it is possible to collaborate in a standalone project. The simplest way for team members to collaborate on a standalone project, is to work with a single project file—however only one user can open and work with the project at any point in time.

If more than one user wants to work on a project at the same time, you can establish a 'master' project, and then give a copy of the master project to each team member. The team members work in the copied projects while you work in the master project. At regular intervals, import your team members' work into the master project—refer to Import selected content into an open project for more information.

Each team member can have their own user profiles in the project, however, users are not 'authenticated', so team members must take care to use the correct user profile—refer to Manage users who share a computer login for more information.

We recommend that all team members use the same version of the software. We do not recommend working in teams with some members using the Windows platform and others using the Mac platform due to some known limitations and issues. Refer to the NVivo 11 for Mac Help for more information.

Teams can work across editions of NVivo software (NVivo Starter, NVivo Pro and NVivo Plus) but unsupported features will not be accessible. For example, when a project with video sources is opened in NVivo Starter, the video sources are unavailable. They display in List View but you cannot edit or code them. The video sources still exist in the project and will be available when the project is opened in an edition that supports video sources. When working across editions, all project data remains intact. Unsupported project items are not removed or converted in any way when a project is opened in a different edition. Refer to Understand product editions for more information.

If you are working in a team you should consider combining NVivo with NVivo Server—refer to How does NVivo Server support teamwork? for more information.

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How project user profiles are created in projects

When you first start NVivo, you are prompted to set up your default NVivo user profile. When you work in a project, this user profile is used to create your project user profile. If each team member accesses the project using their own user profile, you can monitor the work done by different team members.

If you change your default NVivo user profile, the next time you work in your project, a new project user profile will be created. Work you do from this point onwards will be associated with the new project user profile.

If you accidentally create two separate profiles in your project, you can merge the two user profiles, by removing one of the project user profiles and assigning all associated project content to the other user.

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Manage project users who share a computer login

If team members login to a computer using a shared user account, then—if you want to be able to track their work individually in a project—it is important that each person uses their own NVivo user profile.

Each team member can create their own user profile and should ensure they use the correct user profile whenever they access the project. When a team member opens the project, they can check to see which user profile is currently in use.  If they are not using the correct user profile, they can switch user profiles without closing the project.

You can also turn on the automatic prompt for user option, so that team members are prompted to enter their user account whenever they launch NVivo. When one team member finishes working with the project, they should exit NVivo, so that the next user is forced to launch NVivo and will be prompted to enter their user profile.

NOTE  In server projects, project user profiles are based on the user account used to login to the computer, if team members share a computer user account, you cannot track their work individually.

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Set passwords to restrict access to your project

You can set passwords to restrict access to your project—you can set the following passwords:

  • A 'Read/Write' password—allows full access to the project.

  • A 'Read Only' password—allows users to view the project. This password also allows users to copy your project or import data from your project into another project.

Refer to Set project passwords for more information.

NOTE  If you are working with a server project, you control access to your project by adding users to project user groups and by enabling or disabling 'guest access'—refer to Control access to a server project for more information.

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How does NVivo Server support teamwork?

Although it is possible to collaborate in a standalone project, NVivo Server provides advanced support for teamwork.

Server project user profiles are linked to Windows user accounts. In a server project, the Project Owner controls who can view or modify the project. Users are authenticated when they connect to the server, and when they connect to a project.

The NVivo Server allows concurrent multi-user access—this means that everyone in your team can work on the same project at the same time. Team members can code, annotate, and link source content at the same time.

'Edit mode' ensures that team members do not making conflicting changes to source content. A source must be open in edit mode, if you want to modify the content—for example, edit the text in a document source, or add transcript rows to a video. When you have a source open in edit mode, you have exclusive control of the content—other users can view the source, but they cannot edit, code, annotate or link the content. Edit mode also prevents conflicting changes to maps and reports.

If necessary, a Project Owner can open the server project exclusively, locking out all other users. This is necessary when importing structure or content from another project. It can also be useful if you are making large scale changes, and want to be certain you can reverse your changes using the undo function.

Make sure that all team members who are working on a shared project are using the same version of the NVivo software. NVivo Server can host projects in both NVivo 10 for Windows and NVivo 9 formats, however projects in NVivo 10 format cannot be opened using the NVivo 9 software. You can check which version of the software is installed on your computer.

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How project user profiles are created in server projects

When you work in a server project, your project user profile is based on the user profile your Windows user profile. You can change the initials associated with work you do in the project, but the user name cannot be changed.

Refer to Create, view or change user profiles for more information.

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Why it is important to keep your software up-to-date

If you are using features that were added in a service pack, make sure that everyone in the team has updated their NVivo software so that they can use these features too. You can check which version of the software is installed on your computer.

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