NVivo: QSR International Software

NVivo is available for free download for Harvard's FAS community (NOTE: If the page fails to load, clear your browser's cache or try a different browser. When the link is working correctly, you will be prompted to log in.). Students not affiliated with FAS can purchase at a discount directly from NVivo. For information on accessing the software on University computers see Qualitative Across Harvard.


  • Step 1: Create an Nvivo Account:  Before downloading and installing NVivo you must create an NVivo account. If you don’t have a myNVivo account, you will be able to Sign up and create a new account.
  • Step 2: Install NVivo on your Computer. Please proceed to the instructions for "DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING"  from the NVivo Downloads page within the myNVivo portal. You will be required to Sign In with your myNVivo username and password.
  • Step 3: Download & Installing. Choose a version of NVivo and your computer's operating system (i.e., Mac or PC).  For assistance, please refer to the Technical Resource Center to determine compatibility.
  • Step 4: Download & Installing. When prompted, DO NOT select "Activate with myNVivo" and DO select “Or provide enterprise key to activate.” Then enter the "License Key" from the FAS Downloads page. (NOTE: If the page fails to load, clear your browser's cache or try a different browser. When the link is working correctly, you will be prompted to log in.)
  • Step 5: Approve:  A window will appear stating your license has been activated, select “OK”. Enter user profile name and initials, select “OK.” NVivo will open.

Note:  If you experience difficulty deploying or installing NVivo, please don’t hesitate to contact the Support Center.


NVivo License Expiring or Expired? Every year in September the previous year’s NVivo license key expires. There is no need to install the software again, you will simply need to enter the new annually updated license key (located in the section above DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING). Do not worry if the license key expires while you have an active project stored in NVivo, your data will be retained in its entirely and you will be able to access the projects as usual once you have entered the new license key.

Working with Groups

Please note that in NVivo you can share files and merge team members work, however if you would like the ability to code simultaneously you will need to buy an alternative NVivo package with "Server Add-On Capabilities." 

Here are some more resources for learning more about qualitative research in teams generally:

  • Liggett, A.M, Glesne, C.E., Johnston, A.P., Hasazi, S.B., & Schattman, R.A. (1994). 'Teaming in qualitative research: lessons learned'. Qualitative Studies in Education , Vol 7 No. 1
  • MacQueen, K.M., McLellan, E., Kay, K., Milstein, B. (1999). 'Codebook Development for Team-based Qualitative Analysis'. Cultural Anthropology Methods Vol. 10 No.2
  • Sprokkereef, A., Lakin, E., Pole, C. J., & Burgess, R. G. (1995). 'The data, the team, and the Ethnograph'. in R. G. Burgess (Ed.), Computing and Qualitative Research (Vol. 5,). Greenwich: Jai Press, Inc.