R-CMap-An open-source software for concept mapping.

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Mentch L
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Bar H
Mentch L
Eval Program Plann
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Planning and evaluating projects often involves input from many stakeholders. Fusing and organizing many different ideas, opinions, and interpretations into a coherent and acceptable plan or project evaluation is challenging. This is especially true when seeking contributions from a large number of participants, especially when not all can participate in group discussions, or when some prefer to contribute their perspectives anonymously. One of the major breakthroughs in the area of evaluation and program planning has been the use of graphical tools to represent the brainstorming process. This provides a quantitative framework for organizing ideas and general concepts into simple-to-interpret graphs. We developed a new, open-source concept mapping software called R-CMap, which is implemented in R. This software provides a graphical user interface to guide users through the analytical process of concept mapping. The R-CMap software allows users to generate a variety of plots, including cluster maps, point rating and cluster rating maps, as well as pattern matching and go-zone plots. Additionally, R-CMap is capable of generating detailed reports that contain useful statistical summaries of the data. The plots and reports can be embedded in Microsoft Office tools such as Word and PowerPoint, where users may manually adjust various plot and table features to achieve the best visual results in their presentations and official reports. The graphical user interface of R-CMap allows users to define cluster names, change the number of clusters, select rating variables for relevant plots, and importantly, select subsets of respondents by demographic criteria. The latter is particularly useful to project managers in order to identify different patterns of preferences by subpopulations. R-CMap is user-friendly, and does not require any programming experience. However, proficient R users can add to its functionality by directly accessing built-in functions in R and sharing new features with the concept mapping community.
Published Date: 
August, 2016

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