FSD Bulletin

Issue 29 (1/2010)

ISSN 1795-5262

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FSD Bulletin is the electronic newsletter of the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. The Bulletin provides information and news related to the data archive and social science research.


Finnish Social Science Data Archive
E-mail: fsd@tuni.fi

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Jane Gray of IQDA Visited FSD

Hanna Marjamäki | Photo by: Helena Laaksonen

Jane Gray

The archiving of qualitative data involves special questions which are common to all data archives across national borders. Jane Gray, the programme leader for the Irish Qualitative Data Archive (IQDA), visited Tampere to search for new ideas and angles to the current challenges the IQDA is facing and also to share her knowledge related to archiving qualitative data.

In several countries, the archiving of qualitative material has remained in the shadow of quantitative data. The FSD is one of the data archives which have also invested in the archiving of qualitative material and the related special ethical questions. According to Gray, the text in the FSD's Agreement on Material Use Conditions has served as a model in formulating the use conditions for the data archived at the IQDA.

Gray wanted to hear about Finns' experiences on promoting a data re-use culture. She considered the FSD's ambition not to talk about the re-use of data a starting point to be reckoned with. Instead, the FSD simply prefers to talk about analysing the data or using the archived data, which facilitates removing the hierarchical arrangement between the researchers collecting empirical data and those using archived data.

There is a catalogue of Irish qualitative research (Qualicat) on the IQDA website. There is also a link to NIRSA Photo Archive. In the future, registered users will be allowed to download archived data directly from the Qualibase archive, and the common challenge for both the IQDA and the FSD is to create an applicable registration system for web services. According to Gray, the IQDA's holdings are not meant to be used only by domestic researchers, but for example Finns can also order data for research and teaching purposes. The IQDA has currently four ongoing archival projects with themes such as immigration, life histories, social change, and growing up in Ireland.


More information and sources:
» Qualicat
» NIRSA Photo Archive
» FSD Agreement on material use conditions