Published June 9, 2022 | Version 1
Presentation Open

QualidataNet - a federated archiving infrastructure for qualitative research data

  • 1. University of Bremen, RDC Qualiservice
  • 2. State and University Library Bremen
  • 3. German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), RDC for Business and Organzational Datant
  • 4. Archive of Spoken German
  • 5. German Center for Higher Education of Research and Science Studies
  • 6. DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education


Background: One reason, why the archiving and re-use of data in qualitative social research is still the exception, is the lack of a sustainable and interlinked infrastructures, which develops services in close cooperation with the specific research communitiesm and offers support and access to data sharing opportunities for researchers. So far, only few Research Data Centers (RDC) established procedures and tools to professionally curate and prepare qualitative, semi-standardised, and unstructured data such as interviews, observational data, field notes, text, visual data, and audio files, which most often comprise sensitive personal data for re-use and secondary analysis. Moreover, the RDC-landscape consists of various small, unconnected and highly specialised archives at universities and other institutions. To date, each RDC usually dealt with challenges related to data curation on its own, for example, displaying of metadata, data citation principles, contracts, policies, and licences. At the same time, researchers who are willing to deposit their data often struggle to identify a reliable RDC that offers satisfactory conditions for archiving and disseminating their data. Secondary users often cannot find appropriate data for their research purposes.

Objective: To overcome this fragmentation, to promote access and re-use of qualitative data the Consortium for the Social, Behavioral, Educational, and the Economic Sciences, part of the National Research Data Infrastructure in Germany, aims at creating a community-centred federated network for qualitative data: The QualidataNetwork (QualidataNet). We will present how QualidataNet can replace the heterogeneous and fragmented landscape with a coordinated, user and service-oriented infrastructure by functioning as a single point of entry with an outstanding overview of the landscape of archiving and sharing research data. This includes to cooperatively develop an internationally compatible core metadata schema and controlled vocabulary for the various qualitative data, to guide researchers in finding the suitable partner for archiving and data sharing and to support the data preparation with a common research data management portfolio for qualitativ research data.