Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 445–459 | Cite as

A Review of Best Practice Recommendations for Text Analysis in R (and a User-Friendly App)

  • George C. Banks
  • Haley M. Woznyj
  • Ryan S. Wesslen
  • Roxanne L. Ross
Original Paper


In recent decades, the amount of text available for organizational science research has grown tremendously. Despite the availability of text and advances in text analysis methods, many of these techniques remain largely segmented by discipline. Moreover, there is an increasing number of open-source tools (R, Python) for text analysis, yet these tools are not easily taken advantage of by social science researchers who likely have limited programming knowledge and exposure to computational methods. In this article, we compare quantitative and qualitative text analysis methods used across social sciences. We describe basic terminology and the overlooked, but critically important, steps in pre-processing raw text (e.g., selection of stop words; stemming). Next, we provide an exploratory analysis of open-ended responses from a prototypical survey dataset using topic modeling with R. We provide a list of best practice recommendations for text analysis focused on (1) hypothesis and question formation, (2) design and data collection, (3) data pre-processing, and (4) topic modeling. We also discuss the creation of scale scores for more traditional correlation and regression analyses. All the data are available in an online repository for the interested reader to practice with, along with a reference list for additional reading, an R markdown file, and an open source interactive topic model tool (topicApp; see,,


Text analysis Topic modeling Structural topic modeling Thematic analysis Content-analysis Dictionary analysis Natural language processing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • George C. Banks
    • 1
  • Haley M. Woznyj
    • 2
  • Ryan S. Wesslen
    • 3
  • Roxanne L. Ross
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Management, Belk College of BusinessUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.Department of ManagementLongwood UniversityFarmvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA
  4. 4.Department of Organizational ScienceUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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