Concept Mapping Resource Guide

This page is the central resource guide for learning about structured conceptual mapping.  It includes links to general introductory materials, research and case studies illustrating the use of the method, and comprehensive information about the Concept System software including how to obtain and license it.

INTRODUCTION
General
Web
Presentations

RESEARCH
Papers
Whitepapers
Case Studies

PRACTICE
Knowledge Base
Online Help
Tutorial
Training
Worksheets
Download Software
Install Software
Start

Search

INTRODUCTORY MATERIALS

General Reading. A good place to start learning about concept mapping is by doing some reading of the primary background articles.  Here are some of the "classic" articles that are a good starting point:

bulletTrochim, W. (1989). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation.  In W. Trochim (Ed.) A Special Issue of Evaluation and Program Planning, 12, 1-16.
bulletTrochim, W. (1989). Concept mapping: Soft science or hard art?  In W. Trochim (Ed.) A Special Issue of Evaluation and Program Planning, 12, 87-110.
bulletTrochim, W. Reliability of Concept Mapping. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association, Dallas, Texas, November, 1993. 

Web Page Introductions. There are also several good introductory web pages available for the beginner:

bulletWhat is concept mapping?
bulletWhat is pattern matching? 
bulletConcept Mapping from the Trochim, W. (1999). The Research Methods Knowledge Base.

There are two major websites that act as major resources on concept mapping:

Concept Systems Incorporated 

This is, of course, the primary website and the only one from which you can download the software and obtain information about licensing and training. There are numerous papers, case studies, and a comprehensive Knowledge Base that covers both the group process and software. The site emphasizes applications and examples from corporate and for-profit contexts.

Center for Social Research Methods

A good general resource in applied social research and evaluation, the site includes numerous concept mapping papers and projects, primarily emphasizing the more scholarly basis of concept mapping and its application in basic research, public and not-for-profit contexts.

Presentations. You can view the Concept System Introductory Tour. The tour provides an overview of the Concept System software and briefly describes the steps in the process.

Introduction to Concept Mapping Presentation in San Diego, January 13, 2005.

PRACTICE

Knowledge Base and Online Help. The entire Concept System help file is on the web as the Concept System Knowledge Base. This web version is identical to the full context-sensitive help system that ships with the Concept System program. It is the equivalent of two entire books of information and hyperlinked together, one describing the concept mapping process issues and the other explaining how to use the software. You should examine this resource and, once you have downloaded and installed the program, you should get into the habit of hitting the F1 key when you're in the Concept System and need or want context-sensitive assistance. the web version is at:

http://www.conceptsystems.com/kb/cshelp.php

Tutorial. From the software download page (see above) you can also download a detailed tutorial that has hands-on lessons showing you how to use the software. The tutorial uses the Strategic Planning Example that is automatically installed with the program. Training Concept Systems Incorporated regularly offers comprehensive introductory facilitator training as well as a variety of advanced training programs. You can find out about training at:

http://www.conceptsystems.com/About/training.php

Training. Concept Systems Incorporated regularly offers comprehensive introductory facilitator training as well as a variety of advanced training programs. You can find out about training at:

http://www.conceptsystems.com/About/training.php

Worksheets. Here are an assortment of worksheets you can use in preparing and managing a Concept System project. These are all in Microsoft Word for Windows, v6 format:

http://www.conceptsystems.com/download/download.php

Downloading. The full Concept System program can be downloaded at no charge from the Concept Systems Incorporated website. In order to download, you are required first to fill out a brief online form requesting basic identification information. The form is at

http://www.conceptsystems.com/About/contact.php

When you complete the form, the download page will be displayed. You can download the program as a single 4.7M file or as four separate disk images. From that page you can also download the one-disk Concept System Remote program. This is also included in the full download. the only reason you might want to download the Remote program separately is if you intend to have your users/participants enter their data using the Remote and you would like to have the separate install (so your users don't need the full 4-disk installation or large single file).

Installing. The Concept System can be installed on any Windows 3.1, 95, or NT machine. Please note: The Concept System does not work with any Macintosh machines.

To install the program follow the usual software installation procedures. If you downloaded the single file you now have a file on your machine named csinstal.exe. If you navigate to this file and double-click on it the installation program will start. If you downloaded the four disk images, you should be sure you put them into the same directory. You can either copy each image to its own initialized disk or leave them on your hard disk and install directly from them. The four files are setup.exe, setup.w02, setup.w03 and setup.w04. If you navigate to setup.exe and double-click on it, the setup program will start. As long as all four files are in the same directory the setup will run correctly. Of course, if you transfer the four files to their own floppy disks you should start by inserting the disk with setup.exe on it. You will then be prompted for the remaining three disks.

The install program automatically installs one already-completed example project, Strategic Planning Example. You can explore this example and learn how to use the program on it. In order to access the example, you need to start the Concept System program and select the Strategic Planning Example (it will be the only project listed if you just installed the program). You will be presented with a logon box. In order to log onto the project you will need to use the following username and password:

Username: Admin 
Password: concept

Please note that the login is context sensitive, so you must type the username with a capital 'A' and lowercase 'dmin' and the password must be in all lowercase.

Starting. When you are ready to use The Concept System on a project of your own, you will need to obtain a license. You can find information about licensing at:

http://www.conceptsystems.com/software/license.php

Look over the various licensing options and decide which one is right for you.

To actually start the project, start the New Project program that you installed when you installed The Concept System. On the start-up screen you will see a Code Entry Number and next to it will be a Save button. Click on the Save button (to make sure that the next time you start the program you'll have the same Code Entry Number!) and write down your Code Entry Number. Then, contact Concept Systems Inc., to arrange for payment, and obtain an Unlock Code for the license you want. You can call Concept Systems Inc. with your Code Entry Number at (607) 272-1206 between 9am and 5pm Eastern Standard Time, or e-mail us with your Code Entry Number and payment information at Concept Systems ([email protected]) anytime. Once you've arranged for payment, you'll be given an Unlock Code that you enter into the appropriate box in the New Project program that will allow you to start your own concept mapping project.

 

RESEARCH

Papers. Many of the major papers are available on the web. The major references for concept mapping and pattern matching by the presenting author (with web location, where appropriate) are:

bulletTrochim, W., Milstein, B. Wood, B., Jackson, S. and Pressler, V. (2004). Setting Objectives for Community and Systems Change: An Application of Concept Mapping for Planning a Statewide Health Improvement Initiative, Health Promotion Practice, 5, 1, 8-19.
bulletTrochim, W. Stillman, F., Clark, P., and Schmitt, C. (2003). Development of a Model of the Tobacco Industry’s Interference with Tobacco Control Programs. Tobacco Control, 12, 140-147.
bulletJackson, K. and Trochim, W. (2002). Concept mapping as an alternative approach for the analysis of open-ended survey responses. Organizational Research Methods, Vol. 5 No. 4, October, 307-336.
bulletMcLinden, D. J. & Trochim, W.M.K. (1998). From Puzzles to Problems: Assessing the Impact of Education in a Business Context with Concept Mapping and Pattern Matching. In J. Phillips (Ed.), Evaluation Systems and Processes. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development.
bulletMcLinden, D. J. & Trochim, W.M.K. (1998). Getting to parallel: Assessing the return on expecations of training. Performance Improvement, 37, 8, 21-26.
bulletWitkin, B. and Trochim, W. A (1997) Toward a synthesis of listening constructs: a concept map analysis. International Journal of Listening, 11, 69-87.
bulletKolb, D. & Shepherd, D.. (1997). Concept Mapping Organizational Cultures. Journal of Management Inquiry: 6 (4). 282-295. 
bulletMichalski, G. (1997). Stakeholder Variation in Perceptions About Training Program Results and Evaluation: A Concept Mapping Investigation.Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association, Atlanta, San Diego, November, 1997. 
bulletSenGupta, S. (1996). Concept Mapping and Pattern Matching in Integrated Mental Health Service Delivery. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November, 1996. 
bulletShern, D.L., Trochim, W. and LaComb, C.A. (1995). The use of concept mapping for assessing fidelity of model transfer: An example from psychiatric rehabilitation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 18, 2. 
bulletTrochim, W. (1996). Criteria for evaluating graduate programs in evaluation. Evaluation News and Comment: The Magazine of the Australasian Evaluation Society, 5, 2, 54-57. 
bulletTrochim, W., Cook, J. and Setze, R. (1994). Using concept mapping to develop a conceptual framework of staff's views of a supported employment program for persons with severe mental illness. Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 4, 766-775.
bulletTrochim, W. Reliability of Concept Mapping. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association, Dallas, Texas, November, 1993. 
bulletTrochim, W. and Cook, J. (1992). Pattern matching in theory-driven evaluation: A field example from psychiatric rehabilitation. in H. Chen and P.H. Rossi (Eds.) Using Theory to Improve Program and Policy Evaluations, Greenwood Press, New York, 49-69. 
bulletTrochim, W. (Ed.) (1989). A Special Issue of Evaluation and Program Planning on Concept Mapping for Planning and Evaluation, 12. This is a full volume devoted to concept mapping. It includes the following articles:
bulletTrochim, W. (1989). An introduction to concept mapping for planning and evaluation. In W. Trochim (Ed.) A Special Issue of Evaluation and Program Planning, 12, 1-16. 
bulletCaracelli, V. (1986). Structured conceptualization: A framework for interpreting evaluation results. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 45-52. 
bulletCooksy, L. (1989). In the eye of the beholder: Relational and hierarchical structures in conceptualization. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 59-66. 
bulletDavis, J. (1989). Construct validity in measurement: A pattern matching approach. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 31-36. 
bulletDumont, J. (1989). Validity of multidimensional scaling in the context of structured conceptualization. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 81-86. 
bulletGalvin, P.F. (1989). Concept mapping for planning and evaluation of a Big Brother/Big Sister program. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 53-58. 
bulletKeith, D. (1989). Refining concept maps: Methodological issues and an example. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 75-80. 
bulletLinton, R. (1989). Conceptualizing feminism: Clarifying social science concepts. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 25-30. 
bulletKeith, D. (1989). Refining concept maps: Methodological issues and an example. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 75-80. 
bulletMannes, M. (1989). Using concept mapping for planning the implementation of a social technology. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 67-74. 
bulletMarquart, J.M. (1989). A pattern matching approach to assess the construct validity of an evaluation instrument. Evaluation and Program Planning. 12, 1, 37-44. 
bulletTrochim, W. (1989). Concept mapping: Soft science or hard art? In W. Trochim (Ed.) A Special Issue of Evaluation and Program Planning, 12, 87-110. 
bulletTrochim, W. (1989). Outcome pattern matching and program theory. Evaluation and Program Planning, 12, 4, 355-366. 
bulletGurowitz, W.D., Trochim, W. and Kramer, H. (1988). A process for planning. The Journal of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, 25, 4, 226-235.
bulletTrochim, W. (1987) Pattern matching and program theory. In P.H. Rossi and H. Chen (Eds.), Special Issue on Theory-Driven Evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning. 
bulletTrochim, W. and Linton, R. (1986). Conceptualization for evaluation and planning. Evaluation and Program Planning, 9, 289-308.
bulletTrochim, W. (1985). Pattern matching, validity and conceptualization in program evaluation. Evaluation Review, 9, 5, 575-604.

Several of the more useful references for the statistical analysis in concept mapping include:

bulletAnderberg, M.R. (1973). Cluster analysis for applications. New York, NY: Academic Press. 
bulletDavison, M.L. (1983). Multidimensional Scaling. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons. 
bulletEveritt, B. (1980). Cluster Analysis (2nd Edition). New York, NY: Halsted Press, A Division of John Wiley and Sons. 
bulletKruskal, J.B. and Wish, M. (1978). Multidimensional scaling. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications. 
bulletRosenberg, S. and Kim, M.P. (1975). The method of sorting as a data-gathering procedure in multivariate research. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 10, 489-502. 
bulletWeller, S.C. and Romney, A.K. (1988). Systematic Data Collection. Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications.

Whitepapers. These are unpublished lengthier pieces on technical or theoretical aspects of the Concept System and its process. A number of these can be accessed off the Concept Systems Incorporated website at: http://www.conceptsystems.com/library/whitepapers.php

In addition, there are also the following whitepapers, special reports and unpublished monographs:

bullet The Evaluator as Cartographer: Technology for Mapping Where We're Going and Where We've Been. Keynote presentation to the 1999 Conference of the Oregon Program Evaluators Network, "Evaluation and Technology: Tools for the 21st Cenury", Portland, Oregon, October 8, 1999.
bulletTrochim, W. Developing an Evaluation Culture in International Agriculture Research. Invited address presented at the Cornell Institute on International Food, Agriculture and Development's (CIIFAD) workshop on the Assessment of International Agricultural Research Impact for Sustainable development, Cornell University, Ithaca NY, June 16-19, 1991.
bulletTrochim, W. An Internet-Based Concept Mapping of Accreditation Standards for Evaluation. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association, Atlanta, Georgia, November, 1996.
bulletTrochim, W. Reliability of Concept Mapping. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association, Dallas, Texas, November, 1993.
bulletTrochim, W., Dumont, J. and Campbell, J. (1993). Mapping mental health outcomes from the perspective of consumers/survivors. NASMHPD Technical Reports Series, National Association of Mental Health Program Directors, Alexandria VA.
bulletTrochim, W. (1993). Workforce Competencies for Psychosocial Rehabilitation Workers: A Concept Mapping Project. Final report for the conference of the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Services, Albuquerque, new mexico, November 11-12, 1993.

Case Studies. You can view a wide variety of case studies of concept mapping applications at: http://www.conceptsystems.com/Consult/CaseStudies/All.php

visually organize the ideas of a group or organization

 

 

 

use multivariate methods within a participatory mixed-methods approach

 

 

 

 

web-based synchronous or asynchronous participation with standard browsers

 

 

 

 

dramatically reduce the amount of time spent in meetings

 

 

 

get a clearer picture of what people think

 

 

 

 

engage the organization in knowledge sharing

 

 

 

 

communicate ideas and build consensus

 

 

 

 

analyze needs and assess outcomes

 

 

 

 

measure performance over time

 

 

 

 

link planning and action to the strategic goals of the organization