Qualitative data

UK archives
European archives

The UK Data Service and its predecessors - including Qualidata, the first dedicated national data service for qualitative data - have helped many European archives in their efforts to bring in qualitative data. Many of these are part of the Council of European Social Science Data Archives (CESSDA) which are shown on our map of European data archives.

  • Austria: WISDOM, the Wiener Institute for Social Science Data Documentation and Methods, founded in 1985, is supported by the Austrian Ministry of Science and Research.  In 2007 WISDOM began to extend the scope of acquired data to also include qualitative and mixed method datasets. A feasibility study was conducted, followed by a phase of extensive data acquisition. In 2010, the Austrian Ministry for Science and Research signed the commitment to support the quantitative and qualitative archive on a long-term basis.
  • Czech Republic: The Czech Sociological Data Archive (SDA), the national survey archive, works closely with the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, to look at archiving qualitative data.
  • Denmark: The Danish Data Archive (DDA) is the national social science data archive. In 2005, DDA completed feasibility work on acquiring qualitative data, but no data have yet been acquired (2013).
  • France: In summer 2011, France received funding to build a qualitative data bank, now called beQuali, to complement the national survey archive, Reseau Quetelet. The partners for the new project are: the Center for Socio-Political Data (CDSP), the Human and Social Sciences group of EDF R&D and a feasibility study financed by ADONIS/CNRS and Sciences Po. The team has established an innovative prototype for archiving qualitative research in the social sciences. Earlier work upon which this qualitative archive was built was undertaken in 2005 by two research teams, PACTE-CIDSP (CNRS/University of Grenoble) and GRETS EDF who organised an international Symposium on Analysis of Qualitative Research. Utopia and Perspectives.
  • Germany: Following many years of feasibility studies, including one in 2008 jointly with the GESIS Data Archive for the Social Sciences in Cologne, a new stream of funding was awarded in 2011 by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), enabling Germany to initiate a data service for qualitative data, QualiService (see final report). The archive is based on interview data from the Life-Course Archive (ALLF) at the University of Bremen from the Special Collaborative Centre 186 'Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course'.
  • Hungary: Voices of the 20th Century - Archive and Research Center (VOICES) aims to create an internationally acclaimed research database for qualitative social scientific resources in Hungary.  In 2009 the Hungarian State Research Fund supported the center to develop a public inventory of existing resources of qualitative social scientific data gathered in Communist and Post-Communist periods.
  • Ireland: The Irish Qualitative Data Archive (IQDA) based at NUI Maynooth is a central access point for qualitative social science data providing online access to all new qualitative data. It is a complementary service to the Irish Social Science Data Archive (ISSDA), Ireland’s leading centre for quantitative data acquisition, preservation, and dissemination.
  • Northern Ireland: The Northern Ireland Qualitative Archive (NIQA) is based at Queens University and holds two main collections of qualitative data: in-depth interviews with older people on attitudes to ageing and ageism and the archive on conflict.
  • Poland: The Institute of Sociology and Philosophy's Qualitative Data Archive, Archiwum Danych Jakościowych (ADJ) was founded in 2004 , but still exists at its very initial stage. There is a collection of 200 interviews (collected in 1989) and data collected from 1970-1980.
  • Slovenia: The national data archive, Archiv Druzboslvnih Podatkov (ADP) founded in 1997 by the Slovene Ministry of Education, Science and Sports as a specialised social science information centre is considering the acquisition of qualitative data.
  • Switzerland: The DARIS (Data and Research Information Services) based at the Swiss Foundation for Research in Social Sciences (FORS) started to archive qualitative data in 2011 produced by researchers in Switzerland. In 2002, the original Swiss data service, SIDOS, together with a number of key research centres in Switzerland, investigated the feasibility of a centre of competence for qualitative research and published an edited collection of papers relating to archiving and sharing data in Switzerland.
  • United Kingdom: Qualidata was set up in 1994 as Qualidata by the ESRC and in 2003 became part of the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS) led by the UK Data Archive. It supported data creators and users and acquired some 350 qualitative data collections available to download. In 2012 it joined, and was fully integrated into, the UK Data Service in 2012.
International qualitative archives
International networking activities

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