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TEXTPACK: A System for Computer-aided Quantitative Content Analysis

Computer-assisted text analysis methods and practice comprise a basic research area in ZUMA. For years, both conventional content analysis (department TEMEV) as well as computer-assisted content analysis have been main areas of activity for ZUMA. One of the results of this activity is the text analysis tool TEXTPACK, which supports computer-assisted content analysis. A short description (40 pages including some examples) is available.

TEXTPACK is offered in an English as well as in a Spanish program version.

Originally designed for the analysis of open ended questions in surveys, TEXTPACK has been extended over the years to cope with many aspects of computer aided text analysis and most of content analysis. This version includes options to allow faster and easier analyses as well as validation and reliability studies.

Features of TEXTPACK

The majority of the procedures in TEXTPACK assist the user in exploring and editing texts; two procedures are designed for purely quantitative analysis. In the area of computer aided content analysis, TEXTPACK is suitable both for analysis with a strict dictionary approach and for empirical approaches.

In addition, and as a major advantage, TEXTPACK contains special-purpose procedures which allow you to categorize/classify/tag any kind of text according to so called "content analytic dictionaries". The process of text classification is the goal of TEXTPACK and, thus, all other procedures function as service procedures which help to browse, to print a text file, to develop and validate a dictionary, and, most importantly, to help you to use the final numeric output, for example frequencies of categories, with statistical packages like SPSS or SAS for further quantitative or logical analyses. Of course, TEXTPACK can also be used simply for word frequencies, concordances, vocabulary comparison - without the goal of automatically categorizing the text.

Functions in TEXTPACK

TEXTPACK offers among other things the following features:

  • Word frequencies for the entire text or its sub-units
    The word frequencies can be restricted in volume by different options. The frequencies may be printed in different sort orders (alphabetically sorted, sorted by frequencies etc.)
  • Keyword-in-Context and Keyword-out-of-Context
    Single words, word roots or multiple word combinations may be shown in their context.
  • Cross-references and Concordances
  • Word Comparison of two Texts
  • Coding
    TEXTPACK categorizes/classifies a text according to a user dictionary. It generates files with both category frequencies and category sequences. The validity of the coding can be checked by various options (e.g., the insertion of category numbers in the continuous text).
  • Selection of Text units
    TEXTPACK allows you two different options to select text units: to specify a filter on the basis of the identification or to use a numeric file to select text units. In the second case a new SENTENCE file which includes all selected texts will be stored for further use.

Hardware and operating system

TEXTPACK can be installed on all  PCs running under Windows.


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© GESIS Cornelia Zuell 08.07.2002