Though much of the procedures involved in Q methodology can be accomplished using a variety of programs and tools, some special purpose programs offer extra features widely used by Q researchers.


  • PQMethod, maintained by Peter Schmolck, based on FORTRAN code by John Atkinson at Kent State University.
    Free software (GNU GPL), available for Windows, Linux and (via DOS-emulator) for OS X.
  • PCQ, developed by Mike Stricklin.
    Proprietary software, available only for Windows.
  • qmethod package for the R software environment, created by Aiora Zabala with contributions by Maximilian Held.
  • KenQ Analysis a web application for Q methodology, free analysis software developed by  Shawn Banasick. Runs in supported browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Edge).
    Free software, available on a wide variety of UNIX platforms (including Linux), Windows and OS X.
  • qfactor, a program in Stata that performs factor analysis based on different factor extraction methods and rotates factors based on almost all factor rotation techniques (orthogonal and oblique). qfactor is also able to handle bipolar factors and identify distinguishing statements based on Cohen’s effect size (d). For further information contact Noori Akhtar-Danesh. Accompanied by qconvert, a program written in Stata that coverts a raw Q-sort data file into a new Q-sort data file which is ready for analysis by qfactor program.

And the legacy

    Like QMethod Norman Van Tubergen’s QUANAL is a FORTAN program, developed in the 1960s for mainframe platforms. It is rather complex, and offers a great variety of features and options with respect to input-data structure, methods of analysis and the presentation of results. For further information contact Norm Van Tubergen.

Q-Sorting Software

Name Author License Platform Note
HtmlQ Aproxima Open Source (MIT) Web: HTML5 Modern HTML5-port of FlashQ, backwards compatible.
Flash Q Christian Hackert Open Source (non-standard license) Web: Adobe Flash Last updated in 2007
Q-sort touch Alessio Pruneddu Free, but Closed Source Web Also includes Likert-Scale questions
Q-Assessor Stan Kaufman / Epimetrics Group LLC. Proprietary Web Includes analysis.

Legacy (deprecated?) online Q-Software includes:

WebQ Peter Schmolck, based on work by Rick Watson Open Source (GNU) Web: JavaScript (Deprecated?)
WebQSort Christopher Correa, based on Peter Schmolck’s WebQ Unknown Web: JavaScript (Deprecated?)
Q-sorter Program Riverside Accuracy Project / David Funder Unknown Windows (Deprecated?)
Q-Sortware (QSW) Alessio Pruneddu and Marcel Zentner Unknown Unknown (In development?)
Q Sorter Stephan Dekker and Carlo Scheungel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) Unknown Windows (?) (Deprecated?)
POETQ Stephen Jeffares and Helen Dickinson Closed Source – Web Pre Q sort questions, pre sort, click-to-place rather than drag and drop, exports native PQmethod files (.dat etc) & .csv

Not accepting new projects at present.

Also consider other Q studies that have been conducted online.

Pen & Paper

Also consider this design by Gaylene Halter of a Q Sort Board made out of business cards, magnetic board and tape.

A magnetic board with business cards.
license unknown, Gaylene Halter

5 thoughts on “Software

  1. Oh my days, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for.

    Oh, Q Methodology Guru, please help!

    I want to use Q methodology to carry out stakeholder perception research for my MA diss. I need the software to do the following:

    limit how many cards can go in each part (e.g. 1 card each in 4 and -4, 2 cards each in 3 and -3, 3 cards each in 2 and -2, and 4 cards in 1, 0 and -1).
    allow secure data storage (GDPR & ethics)
    allow me to restrict who can access the tool so I don’t have random participants or, conversely, complicated log on procedures that put people off or require them to put personal info like emails
    allow me to sort data by stakeholder type or to create multiple tools so each stakeholder group accesses a different one

    With all this in mind… which would you say I should play around with?

  2. Hi I am PhD student and a part of my thesis is related to Q methodology. Would you kindly comment if you have any idea of userfriendly Q software to collect data? I wonder using Q methodology software would be acceptable if I want to publish my findings