Volume 1, No. 3, Art. 28 – December 2000

Qualitative Archives: Short Descriptions

"Archive for Life Course Research" at the Special Collaborative Center 186 "Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course" at the University of Bremen, Germany

Team: Prof. Dr. Karl F. Schumann, Dr. Susann Kluge, Dr. Heinz-Günter Micheel, Dipl.-Soz.wiss. Diane Opitz

1. Field of Research

Research on biography and life course

2. Aims and Work of Archive

The "Archive for Life Course Research" is part of the Special Collaborative Center 186 "Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course" at the University of Bremen. It was established to archive the voluminous qualitative data material that the Sfb-projects have collected during a period of more than 10 years. This data material is now available for secondary analysis and reanalysis. In addition, we plan to archive further qualitative data material from biographical and life-course research in the future.

The methodology department of the Sfb 186 has developed a new concept for the computer-assisted archiving of qualitative interview data to allow an efficient administration and transmitting of the extensive data material. Furthermore, the department has developed suitable anonymization strategies and transmitting conditions for the sensitive qualitative data to meet the requirements of data protection and the ethical aspects of research.

3. Kinds of Material

The archiving of the qualitative data material is necessary to facilitate the reanalysis of research results and to provide the data for secondary analysis. Thus, it is possible to considerably reduce the enormous costs of gathering and preparation verbal data. In addition, the high density of information and, therefore, the high analysis potential of the verbal data can be much better exploited.

Most of the Sfb-projects carried out both extensive qualitative and quantitative studies. Since several projects combined the two methods in long-term panel studies, unique longitudinal data is available for an observation window of up to ten years. Like you could see in the table, not only the quantitative studies are very extensive, but also during the qualitative studies were asked about 50-80 persons.



Figure 1: Selected Projects of Sfb 186

4. Archiving Concept / Special Issues: Computer-assisted Archiving with the Database-System "QBiQ"

The staff of methodology-project at the Sfb 186 has developed an own concept for the computer-assisted archiving of the qualitative interviewing data in order to allow an efficient administration and transmitting of the extensive data material. Suitable anonymization strategies and transmitting conditions for the sensitive qualitative data material were developed beyond, to meet the requirements of data protection and ethical points.

Archiving the verbal Sfb data occurs computer-assisted in order to reduce the storage capacities of the voluminous data material and to be able to access all data sets faster. For this the Methodology-Project of the Sfb has developed the data bank system "QBiQ" data (pronouncing "cubic") with them we can manage both in the same program: the qualitative interviews and the relevant quantitative data sets.

In addition, "QBiQ" dispose of the usual basic functions from text analysis systems, which are inserted in an increased manner since middle of the 80er years in qualitatively oriented social research. Therefore, it is for instance possible to set codings, to make different kinds of text retrieval or to find out specific terms in the qualitative data material, moreover "QBiQ" can be passed as freeware on to interested researchers – in combination with the archived data.



Figure 2: Integrative Databank System "QBiQ"



Figure 3: Screenshot of "QBiQ"

5. Information Data Bank / Presentation of the Archive

The information data bank of the Archive (MS ACCESS), with which interested researchers would be able to inform about already archived data sets, should be published at Homepage of the Sfb 186 soon.

Contact:

Methodology and Statistics Department / Sfb 186
P.O. Box 330 440
Wiener Str. / FVG-West
D - 28334 Bremen

Tel.: ++49 / (0)421 - 218 41 66
Fax: ++49 / (0)421 - 218 41 53

URL: http://www.sfb186.uni-bremen.de

Revised 8/2008



Copyright (c) 2000 Andreas Witzel

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