The Value of Qualitative Data and their Archiving: the French Situation

Françoise Cribier


Much qualitative data has been collected in France since the 1960s, helping to understand real lives lived by real people. They help to grasp the social density of cultures, social bonds, social strategies. They allow feelings and values to be expressed and produce a "not-simplistic" picture of social reality. Most "producers" had strong personal links with the data they created, but they were never encouraged nor helped to archive them with the result that they are poorly preserved, hard to locate, harder to access, and often lost or even destroyed.
CRIBIER analyzes the types of data collected in various disciplinary fields since the 1960s, their criticisms, and the many reasons to preserve them—among others their complementarity with quantitative data.
Collecting this rare and precious material is and will remain useful for several disciplines for understanding our societies. It is necessary to document, preserve, and take stock of these data, creating a national site, but also helping researchers to prepare their data and find the right archives in which they would be safe and useful.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0502357


creating data; preservation; archiving; producers; re-using qualitative data; national scientific archive

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Copyright (c) 2005 Françoise Cribier

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