A relationship is a special type of code that defines the connection between two project items.

Relationships record statements or hunches you have developed about how items in your project are connected. You might create relationships to show how your research participants are related or how concepts are related.

When you create a relationship, you choose the project items that are involved in the relationship and select a relationship type. Relationship types indicate the nature of the relationships. You can use the system-created 'Associated' relationship type or create your own relationship type.

When adding a relationship type you can define one of the following directions:

  • One way (Anna 'employs' Ken) An arrow
  • Associative (Anna 'knows' Ken) A line, that is without arrowheads
  • Symmetrical (Anna 'works with' Ken) A double-headed arrow

Relationships are stored in the Relationships folder under Coding in the Navigation View. Relationship types are also stored here.

Just like other types of codes, you can visually present relationships by showing them on Comparison diagrams and Explore diagrams.

You can visualize and analyze relationship connections in sociograms. (This feature is only available in NVivo installations with coding enhancements enabled.)

Create a relationship

Relationships are made up of three parts: "from", "to" and the "type" of relationship.

  1. On the Create tab, click Relationship.
  2. In the From box, specify the "from" item in the relationship.
  3. In the Relationship Type list, select a relationship type or click New to create a new relationship type.
  4. In the To box, specify the "to" item in the relationship.

Coding to relationships

You can code your data files to gather material at relationships. For example, you can code text that is evidence of marine dumping affecting water quality at the marine dumping 'impacts' water quality relationship. You can then open the relationship and explore the evidence you have gathered.

NOTE  When you create a relationship between two codes, the coding to individual codes does not become part of the relationship's coding.

Quick coding to relationships

You can use the Quick Coding bar at the bottom of Detail View to create and code to a new relationship in one step or to code to an existing relationship.

Visualize relationships

Modify relationships

You can make changes to a relationship in your project.