Correcting Biased Cohen’s Kappa in NVivo

Sang Yeon Kim, Scott S. Graham, Seokhoon Ahn, Michele K. Olson, Daniel J. Card, Molly M. Kessler, Danielle M. DeVasto, Laura R. Roberts, Fallon A. Bubacy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study demonstrates that NVivo, a popular research tool for content analysis, produces biased Cohen’s kappa as it calculates the reliability statistic at the character level, which is unsuitable for most content-analytic studies adopting a higher unit of analysis (e.g., sentence, paragraph). Based on empirical data and a statistical simulation, this study proposes a method of bias correction applicable to situations where two independent raters conduct binary coding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-232
Number of pages16
JournalCommunication Methods and Measures
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


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