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Education: research guide: Tools & software

Survey tools

The Department of Education has a site license for Qualtrics. Qualtrics is web-based survey tool, which you can use to conduct survey research, evaluations and other data collection activities. 

The license only covers staff and students in the Department of Education. It does not cover members of other Departments throughout the University.

To request a license please email

For more information, please see the Qualtrics website

You can find some guidance on how to use Qualtrics here

Systematic review software

It is common practice to use Excel and Reference Management Software to manage systematic reviews.

The EPPI-Centre have created specific software for systematic reviewing which individuals can subscribe to (the cost is not prohibitive).

There is also free alternative: Rayyan

Covidence is an alternative online software you can pay for: Covidence

Take a look at the Systematic Review Toolbox for other ideas, including tools to use to critically analyse the studies you find e.g. this quality assessment tool.

Data analysis software

You can install these software packages on your own computer for free via the IT Services website.

The library can't offer expert advice on using this software, but there are free online tutorials via LinkedIn Learning and classes provided by IT Services (not all are free).

The University also subscribes to other software which may be useful for your research - you can find more information on those on the Data and Statistics for Social Sciences LibGuide.

You can also access them in the Bodleian Social Science Library Data Area.

Transcription software

The University does not offer specific transcription services or equipment, but we would like to gather advice and experience from you to share with other students. Please email us Here are some tips we've gathered so far:

Automated captions of recorded interviews, focus groups etc. Microsoft Stream and Panopto can create automated captions for you, but be aware these will take time to edit yourself to improve accuracy. We have heard that YouTube's automated captions are more accurate (and remember you can set privacy settings in YouTube to keep your recording from public view). The captions can be downloaded to edit into a transcript.

Sarah from the Social Science Library shares her tips for doing your own transcription using free internet tools. Let us know if these work for you!

If you use an Apple Mac or have access to speech recognition software you could try listening to the recordings via headphones, pausing to repeat out loud. Is this any quicker than simply transcribing yourself? Let us know!

The UK Data Service is a great source of advice when it comes to managing research data - they currently do not recommend automation for transcribing audio interviews because the software is not great at recognising lots of different voices.

This software has been recommended to us

Let us know if you've tried any of these!


Experimental tools

The Department of Education has a site license for Gorilla. Gorilla is a platform to run online behavioural experiments in areas such as psycholinguistics, psychology etc.

The license only covers staff and students in the Department of Education. It does not cover members of other Departments throughout the University.

To request a license please email

More information on the platform see their website

Further tips on installing SPSS

You can install SPSS for free on your computer via the IT Services website self-registration page: log in with your SSO.

Choose Register for and download site-licensed software (Sophos, VPN, SPSS, NVivo, etc)

Select SPSS from the list

Choose the correct installer for the kind of computer (Windows, Mac, Linux)

To check if a Windows computer is 32- or 64-bit, follow instructions from here:

Copy the appropriate licence key for the kind of computer and version of SPSS
Install the software
You will be prompted to license their version of SPSS - you must be connected to the internet for this to work
Choose authorize single-user licence or similar wording, rather than concurrent licence
Paste in the authorization code/licence key copied earlier - this should work and get SPSS installed.