Acquiring Qualitative Data for Secondary Analysis


  • Louise Corti ESDS Qualidata
  • Gill Backhouse UK Data Archive



social science data archives, qualitative data archives, creating data, depositing data, acquisitions policy, data sharing policy, secondary analysis of qualitative data, consent, confidentiality


Qualidata was launched in 1994 as a proactive service for the location, documentation and preservation of qualitative social science research data. Over the course of its relatively short history, Qualidata has succeeded in gaining acceptance for the deposit and re-use of qualitative data material amongst the academic community. Initially concentrating on acquiring important early social studies, then working with the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to operate a "datasets policy," ESDS Qualidata, now merged into UK Data Archive, is in a good position to look back and review the progress made in acquiring data. This paper draws on ESDS Qualidata's pioneering experiences in acquiring and making available qualitative data. It reflects on strategies that have proved successful and comment on others that have been less productive, developing these into guidance for others wishing to embark on the acquisition and deposit of qualitative social science research data. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0502361


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Author Biographies

Louise Corti, ESDS Qualidata

Louise CORTI. Present position: Associate Director of the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex, Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), and Head of ESDS Qualidata (formerly the Qualitative Data Service), the Outreach & Training and Acquisitions Sections of the ESDS. Past position: Deputy Director Qualidata, Department of Sociology, University of Essex. Major research areas: statistical literacy/using data in teaching; qualitative data archiving and secondary analysis of qualitative data; mixed methods data analysis.

Gill Backhouse, UK Data Archive

Gill BACKHOUSE. Present position: Senior Acquisitions and Advice Officer at the UK Data Archive, Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), University of Essex. Major research areas: qualitative data archiving; informed consent and confidentiality of qualitative data.




How to Cite

Corti, L., & Backhouse, G. (2005). Acquiring Qualitative Data for Secondary Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(2).



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