Q-Notes is a qualitative research tool developed specifically for the management and analysis of cognitive interviewing studies. Q-Notes is available online and provides interviewers and analysts with real-time access to interview data. This online application helps to overcome the challenges of analyzing large samples and supports multiple geographical regions so that comparability can be examined across multi-national and multi-lingual respondents. Q-Notes helps project managers to easily monitor the status of a projects as well as the quality of interview data. Finally, Q-Notes promotes the standardization of cognitive interviewing studies, ensuring consistency across interviews and a systematic analysis.

Some of the additional features of Q-Notes include:

  • Standardized documentation process
  • Collaboration across multiple sites or countries
  • Continuous oversight for project leaders
  • Facilitates communication among interviewers
  • Secure, controlled access to interview data


Q-Notes was designed with qualitative data principles in mind such as the simultaneous pursuit of data collection and analysis and constructing analytic codes and themes from data. We view analysis of cognitive interviews as a five level pyramid, where each level provides a specific type of understanding. Performing a complete and detailed analysis is time consuming, especially when using pen and paper or even excel spreadsheets. Q-Notes allows CCQDER to conduct a rapid and thorough analysis, which increases productivity without sacrificing the work quality.

Five Level Pyramid

Q-Notes is currently being used by a number of statistical agencies and research organizations around the world for their own projects. It is also used for collaboration for cross national studies. Q-Notes is managed by CCQDER at NCHS, and is continually being updated to provide the best user experience.

If you would like to learn more about Q-Notes, or use Q-Notes for your own projects, contact us at qnotes@cdc.gov.