Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies



Loughborough’s Qualitative Digital Research Laboratory

Loughborough’s Qualitative Digital Research Laboratory (The LiQUiD Lab) is an interdisciplinary peer-to-peer network. It runs workshops, lectures, and peer training in qualitative methods and research techniques.

The Lab was developed as a collaborative project between the Departments of Social Sciences and Geography, and the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Run by a dynamic team of postgraduate researchers, the lab engages in the new wave of innovative approaches to qualitative research - such as internet research and visual and digital approaches - along with established methods including ethnography, narrative, conversation and discourse analysis.

To contact that LiQUiD Lab, please email

facebook logo Find us on Facebook.

Forthcoming Events

Recent Events

Data protection, anonymization and encryption - Friday 27th May, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Grad School Training Room

The final LQD Lab Event of the 2015 – 2016 academic year will focus on an aspect of qualitative research with which many of us have had to, or will have to, contend: the careful handling and preparation of sensitive data. To cover this important topic, we will be hosting three speakers, all of whom have had experience with, and have advice to impart on, the management of data. The event will open with a talk from Dr. Gareth Cole, Loughborough University’s Research Data Manager. Dr. Cole will discuss general data protection issues, outlining ethical and legal perspectives on the subject. Marc Alexander, a PhD student in the Department of Social Sciences, will follow this up by giving a talk on how to actually anonymise data. He will provide a variety of practical tips, ranging from how to edit audio and video files to disguise names through to considerations when selecting pseudonyms for presentations and publications. To close out the day, Emily Hofstetter, a PhD student in the Department of Social Sciences, will give a talk on data handling and storage, highlighting options for password protection and encryption."


NVivo Workshop – April 18th, 1-3pm, Grad School Training Room

The workshop you’ve all be hoping for: an NVivo tutorial. NVivo is a computer programme for analyzing qualitative data. It is very good at helping you to organize, code, and model your data. It is also regularly used to transcribe data. It is an incredibly popular piece of software – always topping the charts for our most requested type of workshop every year. Our fantastic tutor this year is Catherine Waite!

Catherine Waite is a Loughborough alumnus, and an expert in qualitative research. Her PhD investigated temporary migration in skilled workers through sport-led migration.

Please register at by sending us an email with your name and department. We can only take as many people as will fit in the room.

Please also send us any questions you may have in mind about NVivo. We will do our best to incorporate them into the workshop.

Conference Bootcamp – April 25th, 1pm-4pm, Grad School Training Room

With the conference summer season upcoming, it’s time to get in gear for presentations! At this event, we have three excellent presenters to work out all the kinks in your conference skills.

Prof. Charles Antaki – To kick off the day, Prof. Antaki will give his famous How Not To Present Your Work talk. Prof. Antaki’s biting (and wonderful) satire is a presentation not to be missed.

Joe Ford – Down to the technical details. Joe Ford will give his insider tips on Powerpoint, and how to make your presentation stand out. In particular he will take a look at presenting qualitative data, and some fancier aspects of Powerpoint.

Emily Hofstetter - At nearly all conferences, we have to connect their computers to a projector. Emily Hofstetter will show you how to troubleshoot when your AV is no longer working, how to properly use a microphone, and how to prevent the overall technical collapse of your presentations.

There will be tea (and coffee) and biscuits! Please register at by sending us an email with your name and department. We can only take as many people as will fit in the room.

Roundtable on Ethics with a PhD student, a postdoc and a professor – December 1st, 2015

Join your colleagues for a discussion of ethical issues! We will be joined by a panel of postgraduates who have faced ethical conundrums in the past, who will lead discussions of what it's like to face an unexpected ethical issue in your research. Small group will circulate between experts during the event, allowing for in-depth conversations.
Tasty goodies will be provided, to get your ethical brains turning.

Coffee Meet & Greet – November 12th, 2015.

Come and meet the LQD Lab and your fellow qualitative peers! Loughborough can be a big place for a qualitative researcher. So many of us are dispersed across multiple departments and schools. The LiQUiD Lab is your home for discussing, relating, sharing, and supporting each other as we go on our qualitative methods journeys through our graduate research. Metaphors aside, we’ll be running several events this year that offer peer-to-peer learning, methodological discussion, and opportunities to connect, improve, and network. There will be tea (and coffee) and biscuits. We look forward to meeting you all for this exciting year!

June 2015 – Roundtable discussions on Analytic Methods for Qualitative Research

In this workshop, three methods of analysis for qualitative data will be presented in our roundtable/rotating group format. We will cover grounded theory, thematic analysis, narrative analysis, and discursive psychology.

Ground theory – Emily Hofstetter

This session will give you a brief introduction to GROUNDED THEORY. Grounded theory is an iterative, inductive process that allows qualitative researchers to ‘ground’ their analysis in constant connection to the data they collect (such as interviews, etc.). Grounded theory was developed in order to allow qualitative researchers to create analyses to the same degree of robustness as quantitative studies.
The session will cover the basics of grounded theory, by going through the coding process with a few short transcripts, individually and as a group. Participants will go through the entire coding process (of which there are many levels), and we will discuss how to use other important aspects of grounded theory analysis: creating memos, finding negative cases, and collecting new samples.

Thematic analysis – Lukas Stepanek

This session will introduce you to THEMATIC ANALYSIS as one of the methods for analysing qualitative data.
Using an interview transcript, you will get a step by step explanation of how to perform this type of analysis. The presenter will also discuss common mistakes that researches make and explain how thematic analysis can be used in a variety of areas. Participants will be then asked to perform a task in a group - a mini thematic analysis of an extract from a theme which they have identified among the material (interview transcript). This will be then briefly discussed. In the end of the session you will have a brief idea of what thematic analysis is, how to perform it and how it can be used in your research. Each participant will be also given a list of literature which can serve for a further reference when performing thematic analysis.

Narrative analysis – Theofilos Gkinopoulos

In this session, there will be an introduction to NARRATIVE ANALYSIS from a Labovian perspective. Firstly, there will be a brief introduction to this model and the units, that Labov (1972) identified as the structural elements of a narrative.
The Abstract (what the story is about), the Orientation (setting out the time, place and characters for the reader, who-where-when), the Complication (the part, that shows a turning-point, a crisis or a problem), the Evaluation (point of the narrative, why it is told, comments on events), the Resolution (result of a conflict in the narrative - how the events work out) and, finally, the coda (rounding off the story and bridging back to the present).
Then, there will be a reference to the functions that these narratives convey in that framework.
Finally, there will be a description of the implementation of these principles of Labovian analysis beyond personal stories, on political data occasioned by commemorative days briefly outlining how this kind of analysis works on political data.

Discursive psychology – Bogdana Huma

In the session on DISCURSIVE PSYCHOLOGY (DP) Bogdana Huma will introduce and exemplify the key features of DP as a qualitative analytic method. Additionally, insights into DP's intellectual roots and disciplinary context of development will be provided as a means of understanding its analytic specificity against a backdrop of methodological tensions in sociology and social psychology.
DP can be employed in the analysis of talk-in-interaction in its many forms (interviews, focus groups, ordinary conversations, various forms of institutional interactions). It proposes treating what people say not as more or less accurate representations of what they feel, think, remember or experience, but as actions they are performing in response to other people's preceding actions and leading to further reactions. As such, DP generates analytic insights into the composition and usage of discursive practices and sequences of actions as constitutive elements of social interaction.

May 2015 – Technologies for managing audio and video data, transcripts, and collections.

In this workshop, we will demonstrate 2 software programmes for transcription and data management: CLAN, and how to use Word+Audacity+Excel to accomplish your management. Later, in June 2015, we will run a one-day seminar on NVivo and its uses.

March 2015 – When worlds collide: Doing online research and the researcher online with Dr. Andrea Bundon

Thought most of us are not researching the Internet per se, we are all using digital technologies in our work. We gather data online, communicate with participants via Skype, and disseminate project findings using social media. Increasingly, academics are expected to be comfortable and proficient in online environments and capable of leveraging digital technologies to promote both ourselves and our work. This workshop will explore the different ways in which we, as early career academics, can establish an online presence for our research projects (to secure funding or communicate with community partners, for example) and also build our own individual online profiles (for the purpose of job hunting, for example). We will also discuss some of the challenges that arise when our personal and our professional work converges online.

The Postgraduate Team