Re-using Qualitative Research Data: a Personal Account


  • Paul Thompson University of Essex



qualitative data, re-analysis, re-use, life story interviews, archiving


This paper describes three experiences of reanalysing data. The first is the re-use of data I have collected myself, primarily the much-used dataset "Family and Work Conditions before 1918", collected in the early 1970s, and the extent to which this has created difficulties and gains. The second is a more recent project, published as Growing Up in Stepfamilies, in which we tried to interweave the potentially complementary strengths of life story interviews with data from a quantitative longitudinal cohort followed since 1958 by the National Child Development Study. The third is my current project on transnational Jamaican families, where I have been using parallel interviews collected by Mary CHAMBERLAIN and Harry GOULBOURNE. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0003277


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Author Biography

Paul Thompson, University of Essex

Paul THOMPSON is Research Professor in Sociology at the University of Essex and Director of Qualidata. He is Founder of the National Life Story Collection at the British Library National Sound Archive. His books include The Edwardians (3rd edition 1992), The Voice of the Past (3rd edition 2000), Living the Fishing (1983), I Don't Feel Old (1990), The Myths We Live By (1990), and Growing Up in Stepfamilies (1997).




How to Cite

Thompson, P. (2000). Re-using Qualitative Research Data: a Personal Account. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(3).



Re-use and Secondary Analysis