Experiences With Secondary Use of Qualitative Data—First Results of a Survey Carried out in the Context of a Feasibility Study Concerning Archiving and Secondary Use of Interview Data

  • Diane Opitz Graduate School of Social Sciences
  • Reiner Mauer Zentralarchiv für Empirische Sozialforschung, Universität zu Köln
Keywords: archiving of qualitative data, feasibility study, experiences with secondary use, problems with secondary use, demands for data for secondary use, tasks of an archive


Acquisition and provision of quantitative research data as well as preparation and documentation of this data are principal tasks of the Central Archive for Empirical Social Research. A comparable institution, which systematically collects, archives, documents and provides qualitative data for secondary use on a national level does not currently exist in Germany. It is the sole responsibility of each researcher to take care of his/her own research material. In many cases data is kept in offices or at home, where it is generally not accessible to others and the long-term data preservation is uncertain. On the basis of these considerations, the German Research Foundation (DFG) financed a cooperation project of the Life Course Archive at the Graduate School of Social Sciences (University Bremen) and the Central Archive for Empirical Social Research (ZA), University of Cologne to explore the possibilities of providing an infrastructure for archiving qualitative data and to find out the needs of the scientific community for such an infrastructure. This article first introduces the feasibility study and then presents first results of a survey carried out within the project. In this context we will focus on different aspects of the practical experiences with the secondary use of qualitative data. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0501431


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Author Biographies

Diane Opitz, Graduate School of Social Sciences
Diane OPITZ, Diplom-Sozialwissenschaftlerin, Abschluss an der Humboldtuniversität zu Berlin, seit 1998 in Bremen als wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin tätig, seit 2001 im Archiv für Lebenslaufforschung Hauptinteressen: Organisationsabläufe und Arbeitsroutinen bei der Archivierung von Interviewdaten; Anonymisierungsstrategien und datenschutzrechtliche Rahmenbedingungen; Anforderungen an Metadaten zur Datenweitergabe, Datenbankaufbau mit dem Ziel der Einbindung ins WWW
Reiner Mauer, Zentralarchiv für Empirische Sozialforschung, Universität zu Köln
Reiner MAUER, Diplom-Volkswirt, wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Zentralarchiv für Empirische Sozialforschung in Köln Gegenwärtige Arbeitsschwerpunkte: Entwicklungen zum Management von Umfragedaten und deren Dokumentation (insbesondere die Migration des ZA-Studienbestandes in das XML bzw. DDI-Format), Koordination der NESSTAR-Einführung im ZA, Mitarbeit an der Entwicklung eines Archivkonzeptes für die qualitative Sozialforschung
Procedures for Archiving Qualitative Data: Confidentiality and Technical Issues