Qualitative Archiving and Data Sharing (QUADS) Demonstrator Scheme
QUADS was the ESRC Qualitative Archiving and Data Sharing Scheme, which ran from April 2005 to October 2006. The aim of the scheme was to develop and promote innovative methodological approaches to the archiving, sharing, re-use and secondary analysis of qualitative research and data. A range of new models for increasing access to qualitative data resources, and for extending the reach and impact of qualitative studies were explored. The scheme also aimed to disseminate good practice in qualitative data sharing and research archiving. This was part of the ESRC's initiative to increase the UK resource of highly skilled researchers, and to fully exploit the distinctive potential offered by qualitative research and data.
About Qualitative Archiving and Data Sharing (QUADS) Demonstrator Scheme
QUADS was a small initiative (£500,000 over 18 months) and was dedicated to the mission of learning more about sharing, representation, and re-use of qualitative data. Five small exploratory projects were funded together with a co-ordination role.
The co-ordination team, based at ESDS Qualidata, were charged with the task of providing a pivotal role in fostering communication and understanding between the following five demonstrator projects:
Representing Context in a Research Archive of Educational Evaluation Studies (18 months)
P Carmicheal, M James, J Elliot and D Bridges (Cambridge and UEA)
Smart Qualitative Data: Methods and Community Tools for Data Mark-Up (SQUAD) (18 months)
L Corti and C Grover (Essex and Edinburgh)
Negotiating the Long View: Archiving, Representing and Sharing a Qualitative Longitudinal Resource (18 months)
S Henderson, J Holland and R Thomson (Southbank)
Methodological Issues in Qualitative Data Sharing and Archiving (18 months)
A Coffee, B Dicks and M Williams (Cardiff)
Collating and Preserving Primary Material on the Northern Ireland Conflict (18 months)
R Miller and M Melaugh (QUB and Ulster)
Four common challenges were identified for the QUADS scheme. These were:
- defining and capturing data context
- audio-visual archiving
- consent, confidentiality and IPR
- web and metadata standards.
QUADS devised and recommended a minimum set of contextual constructs that would be necessary to document a collection of qualitative data to enable informed secondary use. It also edited and contributed to a volume of the free online journal Methodological Innovations, on 'Making qualitative data more re-usable'
The scheme provided an opportunity to share expertise on archiving and sharing digital audio-visual data from qualitative research.
Many of the QUADS projects encountered specific consent and copyright issues. Each project confronted ethics in a unique way by way of the samples under study and the kinds of data involved. Each project affords a unique case study relating to ethics that can be used in the future.
The projects all examined new ways of presenting data, some utilising state-of-the-art technical approaches, tools and standards, eg XML
How to access this resource
Papers, tools and training materials arising from the projects are available on the QUADS website.
Download the QUADS information sheet (PDF, 193Kb)