Discourse Studies, 13(4) pp 417-434

During the course of this article we examine data gathered from two research meetings in which coding issues and data organization are being discussed in relation to the use of the software package Atlas.ti. The meetings were concerned with the organization and coding of semi-structured interviews carried out by three different groups as part of a wider collaborative research project. A number of papers have considered aspects of coding practice in teams or small groups; however, little work exists on the analysis of first order collaborative CAQDAS coding interaction. In doing so, this article re-specifies formal coding and collaboration models through the examination of practical methods of situated interaction and data sense-making in the course of producing social scientific facts and explanation. In this sense, the analysis reveals the way in which the professional argot of social science codes can be understood to rely on everyday methods of sense-making within team based contexts. These methods can be understood to be realized through the fine-detailed ‘granular’ categorical and sequential specifics of talk-in-meetings where matters relating to social scientific reasoning, accountability, stakeholders’ interests, defeasible and defensible reasoning protocols, disciplinary rights and the ‘search for underlying patterns’ are salient features and recognizable and accountable concerns for team members as a routine aspect of doing qualitative social science.