Instructions for Using Krippendorff's Alpha 3.12a Software
Create a new directory called #reliab and copy the 6 files on the disk to that directory.
Start the program by double-clicking on the .exe file (which has a green 'K' icon).
The first screen asks what file to load (from the default directory, but you can load from a different one, including a 'data' subdirectory, that you create). It wants a file with the .txt extension or *.dat extension; I've never used and can't advise on the use of *.dat files.
You can enter data in any standard spreadsheet program that allows you to export a file in comma-delimited text format. Or you can enter or bring the data into a word processing program and save the file in text format.
In any case, to load a .txt file successfully, it has to follow, *exactly*, these requirements:
The first line contains the variable names, separated by commas, with no spaces; the first two variables should be UNIT (i.e., case number) and OBSERVER (i.e., coder).
Each subsequent line contains data for one case - the values for each variable in the same order as the first line list of variable names.
There can't be ANY spaces in the entire file and there should be no extra paragraph markers at the end of the file. Be sure that whatever word processing program you use to create and/or edit the file doesn't add any extra formatting when you save the file (e.g., some add a paragraph marker at the end of every line as the line appears on the screen, etc.)
If there's a problem with the file (e.g., a space somewhere in the file), the program will 'lock' and just display the 'hourglass' icon. Use the Control-Alt-Delete keys to exit the program.
After you've successfully loaded the data file, you'll see a spreadsheet-like grid of data, with variable names above each column and observer/coder names repeated for each unit down the rows.
To calculate Krippendorff's Alpha for a single variable, across all the units and coders, highlight the appropriate column by left clicking the mouse in the cell that contains the variable name; note that the first cell of data in the column will remain unhighlighted, but that's ok (it's a program bug but the cell is included).
Under the Options menu, select the level of detail you want in the reliability output - terse (the default and normally sufficient), intermediate (adds coder and unit names, raw data listing, and Coincidence Matrices), or verbose (adds Matrix Weightings).
Click on the Calculate menu, a progress bar on the bottom of the screen will appear, and then results will appear in a new window (note that this window appears only the first time you calculate a reliability - every subsequent time you must use the Window menu to select (to see) or deselect (to not see) the results window.
You can calculate reliability for several variables at a time by highlighting several columns of data, but if you select too many variables the program may crash (it gives you an 'out of memory' error message and forces you to exit). The program is usually fairly quick, but it takes longer to calculate reliability for variables that have many different values; it may take as long as 20 minutes to calculate several of these 'difficult' variables (and of course it may crash before it completes the task, which is frustrating!).
You can't change the data by directly typing into cells in the grid, but you can use the Edit window to change values in one or more highlighted cells to a value you type in the appropriate space in the Edit window. And you can use the Recode window to change sets of values within highlighted cells to a value you type in the appropriate space in that window. You can save the changed data set with the Save command on the File menu.
Clicking the About menu item brings up a picture of Professor Krippendorff.
Exit the program using the Exit command on the File menu.