User Support


  • Louise Corti ESDS Qualidata



user support, social science data archives, qualitative data archives, secondary analysis of qualitative data, creating data, depositing data, support networks, teaching and learning support


In considering "users" of social science data archives, the temptation is to count only those who are conducting secondary analysis of data. However, the definition of "users" can be widened to include any groups and individuals who have regular or systematic contact with a data archiving and dissemination service. In this paper I identify six distinct categories of users: data creators and potential depositors of data; depositors of data; those enquiring about re-using data; those who are re-using data; those who have re-used data; and those who have an interest in acquiring knowledge about the workings of or procedures used by a data archive. I discuss in turn the requirements for providing user support across each of these areas. I conclude that a well-directed, managed, forward-thinking and monitored program of user support can enable a data archive to keep one step ahead of users' needs and to raise its own profile. As such, the pay off is a good reputation, a solid funding base, an enhanced culture of sharing and re-using qualitative data, the production of high quality incoming data and documentation and spin-off funding for new products and cross-national initiatives. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0502411


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Author Biography

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.




How to Cite

Corti, L. (2005). User Support. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(2).



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