Qualitative data preservation and sharing


The value of preserving and sharing data is well established. There is growing recognition that secondary data analysis facilitates the development of both new knowledge and theory. Major funding bodies such as the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC) advocate data reuse. The collection of qualitative data is resource intensive in terms of both time and money. There are also ethical arguments about maximising the use of data which has been collected using public money.  There is, however, no specific repository in the UK to house qualitative data generated through health and social care research to enable easy identification of data for secondary analysis.

The aim of the project is to design, test, and evaluate a prototype qualitative data repository, which can serve as a central hub, to facilitate the secure archiving, sharing and re-use of data.

Practical and academic resources to support use of the repository, as a well as a catalogue detailing the data stored, will be created, and made available on the repository website. We will establish a charging structure to ensure the sustainability of the repository.  We will work with the NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR), School for Public Health Research (SPHR) and School for Social Care Research (SSCR) to encourage depositing and use of data, in preference to collecting further primary data.

The repository will become a single point of access for qualitative health and social care data. Data in the repository will be accessible to all researchers, subject to ethical approval. The project is particularly important as the COVID 19 pandemic has made data collection even more challenging in health and social care sites intensifying the need to maximise use of existing data.

Partners & Collaborators

University of Bristol

University of Southampton

Keele University

University of Oxford

University of Exeter

Aston Universtiy

AIMES (Data Management)

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