Mac presence in academia?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by rvdparis, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. rvdparis macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2007
    paris, france
    Hi all,

    Was wondering if anyone knew where I could find info on Mac use in academia?

    I am trying to convince an academic software publisher to release a Mac version of their software (instead of relying on Parallels/VM Fusion, etc., and their software will not work with Crossover/Wine), and would like to show that a higher percentage of people use Mac in academia than in the general public (which is about 5+% of total market share I guess). If that is true ;)

    Perhaps there are other arguments for the Mac platform, but I think numbers speak loudly.

    I could only find these references to demographics while searching the interwebs:

    Current market share of OS.

    UVA 10 year study PC vs Mac, Laptop vs Desktop.

    The Hunch study. Anyone know if they tested for academic use?

    Thanks! R
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Wouldn't they have done a market survey to determine if its economically feasible to release a Mac version of the app you're looking for.
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You are unlikely to find any reliable statistics on this topic to help your case. Furthermore, if the software is one of those big, expensive professional suites it's going to be a waste of time to get them to re-code the entire thing for OS X.
  4. rvdparis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2007
    paris, france
    I imagine they would have done a market study, but no one knows because they never say, they just say they are not going to put out a Mac version...and I am not sure how complicated the software actually is. It's an active piece of software, meaning that it is still and continuously updated, and not really expensive given its competitors (ranging from 100 USD to several hundred).

    What is clear is that there is no software package that does what it can do that exists in the OSX environment. It is a qualitative data analysis software package that allows coding of PDF files, images, media and so forth, if you know what that means.

    And while many of users are active in the forums of this software to try to get the company to study a Mac solution, they just don't seem interested. Their response is always to go to a third party solution like Parallels. I would content myself if it worked under Wine, but it does not and the company says it will not work with Wine.

    I thought if I could show that there are a lot of Mac users who are academics, we might be able to put some pressure on, all the while pointing out that they could corner the market, since none exists for the Mac platform.* Just HIRE some mac developer to do it, I think.

    Thanks, I am still on the lookout for stats about academics using Mac for their research or other work, in contrast to the general public.


    *There ARE qualitative data analysis solutions for Mac, but NONE of them allow coding (highlighting and "tagging," like annotating a PDF) of media, images nor especially PDF files (like journal articles, or scanned documents). Additionally, this one application has other attractive features such as geocoding and interview transcription aides built in. NO other package for mac has this.
  5. metanoiac macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2012
    I hope you are able to convince these guys, as I would also love to see a QDA tool that is native to the Mac.

    You probably are looking for Mac users among the faculty, but if data for Mac use in universities in general works as well, can you not get the OS data from the people who are accessing the university wireless network? It sounds like you are working in university, so maybe you can talk to your IT department?

    I know that these numbers are not very informative in terms who would actually buy the software, but it would give a better idea about the market share of Mac in an academic setting. At my school, I would guess it is around 50%!
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The thing you have to remember is that % of mac users =/= % of people on a mac who would use this software. It could be that, within this niche, most of the people use PC's. For example, while the Bio department at my uni seems to tend towards macs, the sociology department uses Dell's.
  7. metanoiac macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2012
    Yes, I believe that I remembered exactly this in the first sentence of my last paragraph ;)
  8. rvdparis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2007
    paris, france
    here's to the "mac-ademics"

    Since I posted this 6 months ago, I've been finishing up my coding with the QDA package Atlas.ti, which is the package I was talking about above. That is the QDA program for Windows that is the cheapest, and does the most, but I also discovered the latest version of Nvivo which does some amazing stuff as well. In any case, aside from HyperResearch and TAMS Analyzer (free)--both of which are severely limited in their capacities, given what is out there on the market--there are no other QDA programs for mac. Amazing to me.

    I have also tried to experiment with other software that "acts" like a QDA program but is not. For simple text analysis, all you need to do is "tag" passages with "codes" or words or short phrases and then compile those codes--still attached to those passages--into a coherent analysis. Then write it up! The closest I have come to is Scrivener, but you can't annotate or highlight passages in PDF files and you can't "tag" passages you highlight--in PDFs or in regular text files. You can tag only "documents" in Scrivener. That could be helpful, but then there's no easy way to use those tags except by awkwardly searching for them in search queries. I also tried to use keywords, but that is also not workable.

    In any case, it seemed to me when I posted the original message that mac academics, "Mac-ademics"-- might pressure these QDA companies--or better, mac developers--to pursue a robust QDA package for the mac platform. Given Apple's recent public commitment to education, this seems like a viable path.

    And that these companies increasingly rely on Parallels or other virtual machine software, I find just lazy. I want a robust, native OSX app for qualitative data analysis, dammit!

    here's to working on the next step..
  9. researchware macrumors newbie

    Jan 30, 2012
    Macintosh QDA software

    If you are looking for OSX based QDA software, consider looking at HyperRESEARCH. You can download a free trial at and there is free online training at Contrary to the post above, our software is pretty powerful (although we do not support PDF [Yet]) and we have thousands of very satisfied customers. Students, especially busy grad student, seem to especially like the ease of use and low learning curve.
  10. rvdparis thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 5, 2007
    paris, france
    I stand by my words...though we may disagree about what "powerful" means.

    TAMS Analyzer, for example, does what HyperResearch does, but for $200 USD less (price of HyperR for students), that is, $0 USD. Still no PDF functionality, no survey data importing, no geo-spatial integration, no transcription capabilities, like Atlas.ti. HyperR seems very well adapted to the way we worked 10 years ago, with text file transcripts of interviews (though this is surely still the case for many researchers), but what about other sources of qualitative and quantitative information that must be analyzed? Our journal articles are in PDF (and a lot of my archives have been scanned as PDF files)...and HyperR, while it reads JPGs, it doesn't read TIFF files! How about "nice looking" reports (something Atlas.ti lacks as well), or exporting data in OPML or XLS formats? HyperR could do so much more. I'd happily pay for it, but only if it did even 3/4 of what Atlas.ti or nVivo does.

    But the thread has gotten off track a bit...the real question remains, how are academics using the mac in academic environments? And how can we pressure developers to develop for the OSX / iOS platforms? (like AutoCAD last year! Will ESRI ever develop ArcGIS for the mac platform? ) Are there sites that give hints about software in academia...besides MacResearch (which is a great site, but for scientists)?
  11. ResearchWareDev, Jan 31, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012

    ResearchWareDev macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2012
    As the lead developer for HyperRESEARCH I agree with your assessment that it could benefit from an even broader range of both source and export types. While I'm not at liberty to discuss features in development which have not yet been released, I can say that we're aware of the benefits of such enhancements. Sorry to sound vague, but you know how it is in the software biz. ;)

    That said, HyperRESEARCH currently supports not only plain text files but also RTF and Unicode, along with nearly a dozen image formats and every audio and video format QuickTime supports.

    I don't want to hijack this thread, so if you prefer you're welcome to write me directly at, but I have two questions for you if you have time and interest:

    While PDF support is frequently requested, TIFF has been very rarely mentioned by our customers. TIFF files are usually much larger than other formats, which is why we see more common use of PDF and JPEG where TIFF had been used in the '90s. If you have a lot of TIFF files, may I ask where they come from? Scanner? If we had PDF support, would you still need to work with TIFF?

    My second question is about OPML: I've been a fan of Winer's work for many years, but I've been more interested in DDI as a target XML format because it seems to be getting good traction in the qual world, and hadn't previously come across any references to OPML for the sort of research HyperRESEARCH is commonly used for. What types of sources do you need to code which use OPML?

    Thanks in advance for any comments you can share on those, here or in email.

    To bring this back on topic, you asked "And how can we pressure developers to develop for the OSX / iOS platforms?"

    One way is to work with the vendors who've been committed to the Mac platform for many years like ResearchWare has, with its QDA tool HyperRESEARCH and its transcription tool, HyperTRANSCRIBE, by providing guidance on how they can better tailor the products to meet your needs.

    Our products began on Mac OS, and while we've expanded to Windows and will be expanding further with Linux and other OSes later this year, Mac remains central to our mission.

    Like LabView, SPSS, and many others, a good many companies remain committed to the Mac platform, and most of us making software for this platform want to provide the most complete solutions we can. With a little guidance from users like yourself, we can make this happen.

Share This Page