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ESDS Qualidata: encouraging the growth and use of archived research John Southall ESDS Qualidata, University of Essex Plymouth, April.

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Presentation on theme: "ESDS Qualidata: encouraging the growth and use of archived research John Southall ESDS Qualidata, University of Essex Plymouth, April."— Presentation transcript:

1 ESDS Qualidata: encouraging the growth and use of archived research John Southall ESDS Qualidata, University of Essex Plymouth, April 2007

2 Qualitative data resources What do we have? How can I find it? How can I access it? How can I use it?

3 ESDS Qualidata function of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) specialist service led by the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex acquires, provides access to, and support for, a range of qualitative datasets on a national scale responsible for enhancing qualitative data and documentation provides information and training resources for re-analysing qualitative data

4 Economic and Social Data Service a more integrated national approach to data archiving and dissemination provides more seamless and easier access to a range of disparate social science data resources dedicated functions: –Management and Co-ordination Function –Core Data Archiving and Preservation Service –Government Data Service –International Data Service –Qualitative Data Service –Longitudinal Data Service

5 Re-using data Archived qualitative data are a rich and unique, yet too often unexploited, source of research material. They offer information that can be re-analysed, reworked, and compared with contemporary data. In time, too, archived research materials can prove to be a significant part of our cultural heritage and become resources for historical as well as contemporary research.

6 UKDA: sources of data Data for research and teaching purposes and used in all sectors and for many different disciplines official agencies - mainly central government international statistical time series individual academics - research grants market research agencies public records/historical sources qualitative and quantitative links to UK census data access to international data via links with other data archives worldwide

7 Brief background to Qualidata project to save endangered qualitative social research material identified: –collated and organised –catalogued and described –metadata created –deposited with paper archives –collections promoted –user support

8 Next phase – archiving digital data merge with UK Data Archive in 2001 –into an established quantitative digital archive –moving towards electronic and online dissemination –small onsite paper archive maintained National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA) –links with other traditional archives continued

9 NSPSCA screen shot

10 Qualitative data resources What do we have? How can I find it? How can I access it? How can I use it?

11 types of data collected vary with the aims of the study and the nature of the sample samples are most often small, but may rise to 500 or more informants created in a variety of formats: digital, paper (typed and hand-written), audio, video and photographic often a diversity of methods and tools rather than a single one are encompassed

12 diverse data types: in-depth interviews ; semi- structured interviews; focus groups; oral histories; mixed methods data; open-ended survey questions; case notes/records of meetings; diaries/ research diaries multi-media: audio, video, photos and text (most common is interview transcriptions) formats: digital, paper, analogue audio-visual

13 Archiving criteria relative importance or impact of the study eg. had a major influence in its field and/or representing the working life of a significant researcher complementary to existing data holdings popularity of the study topic (health, criminology, social policy) data that have further analytic potential than the original investigation. mixed methods data Raw data or methodology

14 Old media most new collections are born digital but much older data in paper format will digitise paper: –scan and OCR samples of key data –scan as image files to enable faster throughput may digitise sound from audio tape facilitate archiving of larger non-digital collections in traditional other archives across the UK –but may selectively digitise highlights

15 Paper based datasets Peter Townsend – poverty, old age Paul Thompson – oral history and the Edwardians Mildred Blaxter – grandmothers and daughters Dennis Marsden – fatherless families National Social Policy and Social Change Archive

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17 Contemporary datasets Grandparents and Teen Grandchildren: Exploring Intergenerational Relationships, A Cross-Generational Investigation of the Making of Heterosexual Relationships, Classroom Assistants in Primary Schools: Employment and Deployment, Penal Communication, Gender Divisions and Gentrification, Meeting Basic Needs? Exploring the Survival Strategies of Forced Migrants, 2004

18 How is research archived? Data are processed –error checking/validation of contents –consent and confidentiality agreements met –creation of user guides, listings –Access conditions agreed and applied New guide to data processing techniques now online:

19 digital archives preserve originals –supply copies –conform to licences and any access conditions access to such archives requires: –material in good order (processed) –searchable catalogue records –user guides and related documentation –Explored through online search engine

20 Qualitative data resources What do we have? How can I find it? How can I access it? How can I use it?

21 Searching and browsing By: free text investigator topic dates of fieldwork and period covered publications arising date data released

22 Qualicat screen shot

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24 UKDA Catalogue screen shot

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27 Qualitative data resources What do we have? How can I find it? How can I access it? How can I use it?

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29 Qualitative data resources What do we have? How can I find it? How can I access it? How can I use it?

30 Ethical and consent considerations questions of confidentiality and agreements made at the time of fieldwork archived data should always conform to ethical and legal guidelines with respect to the preservation of anonymity when this has been requested by informants or guaranteed to them achieve this by various strategies - editing the original data restricting access/vetting obtaining legal undertakings to protect respondents confidentiality

31 Teaching and learning transcripts can provide unique case material for teaching and learning in both research methods and substantive areas across a range of social science disciplines designing a new study or developing a methodology or research tool by studying sampling methods, data collection and fieldwork strategies and topic guides ESDS Qualidata can advise teachers and students on many aspects of using data resources in lectures and for self-study –providing a number of teaching datasets and associated learning materials –training workshops and online materials

32 Finally… some recent innovations enhanced collections –longer period of processing –more contextual material –new documentation on methods –SN Education and the Working Class, d=1685 subject specific user guides ESDS Qualidata – Online data browsing system

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34 Online access to qualitative data emphasis on providing direct access to collection content –supports more powerful resource discovery –greater scope for searching and browsing content of data (supplementary to higher level study-related metadata) –since users can search and explore content directly… can retrieve data immediately providing access to qualitative data via common interface (ESDS Qualidata Online) supporting tools for searching, retrieval, and analysis across different datasets

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38 Web pages


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