Without NVivo, Waldman says she would be doing a lot of cutting and pasting by hand. "We're able to collect, maintain, and manage all the reviewer data in our system," she says. "Instead of cutting and pasting data into one collated report, the software does it for us." That allows iD8 to collect data over a longer period of time. For example, instead of doing separate reviews after each chapter, the reports can be derived from individual questions from the questionnaire covering the entire book or developed into charts and graphs with relative ease.
A feature that is popular with clients is tagging learning outcomes. iD8 codes all content related to learning outcomes and captures it in the system for better development and for future supplements. This information can be turned over to the author, who can prepare the instructor's manual or test questions.
"This software allows us to provide services we couldn't otherwise provide, such as collecting reviews over a long period of time," says Waldman. "Can this be done by hand? Theoretically, yes, but that wouldn't be worth it financially. To have that ability through NVivo is a big feature for us."
In addition, there are a number of NVivo upgrades that are coming out in the fall that will be beneficial. One of iD8's challenges is the length of time it takes to code the information for the review process and how the results are translated into the analysis. "If there are certain ways we always treat like-minded content, it would be nice if we didn't always have to set it up," says Waldman. The new features in NVivo would allow that functionality. Another change will be more hierarchies in the architecture that will streamline the process even more.
NVivo's niche is in research and education, and Waldman found that many of the authors she works with are familiar with the software. That allowed the authors to become advocates for iD8 among their publishing clients. Additionally, Owen feels that iD8 shows that NVivo can take unstructured information and put it into useful formats, not only in the academic world but also for mainstream users.
Because academics are familiar with NVivo, it gives iD8 a slight advantage over other production vendors. The authors understand what the software is able to do; that, along with iD8's marketing pitch, has clients believing in NVivo's capabilities. NVivo has automated a lot of the process; however, Waldman is quick to point out, "We still do a lot of things by hand. NVivo's automation allows us to add our personalized touch to the process."
It's been a year since iD8 began using NVivo for its peer-review application, and the company, along with its partner company, Triple SSS Press Media Development, is beginning to advertise its online review service. It's still a learning process; discovering what works for one client may not be right for another.
In the long run, Waldman believes that the partnership with QSR and using NVivo software makes the overall operation more efficient. "It differentiates us in the marketplace," she says. "No one else is doing anything like this, yet it seems like such an obvious fit."