Dissertation Abstracts

Archiving and secondary analysis of qualitative data

Author: Smioski, Andrea , andrea.smioski@univie.ac.at
Department: Institute of Sociology
University: University of Vienna, Austria
Supervisor: Anton Amann
Year of completion: 2013
Language of dissertation: German, English

Keywords: data archiving , secondary analysis , qualitative data , data archive
Areas of Research: Historical and Comparative Sociology , Communication, Knowledge and Culture


In recent years, the discourse on archiving and secondary analysis of qualitative research data has experienced a lot of change. Given high levels of data loss, one-off data usages and a new movement towards more transparent and open means of access to scientific research data, hitherto common practices of handling of research data has come under question. A culture for archiving and sharing of qualitative research data is starting to develop. At the same time, there are still a number of factors that impede the progress of archival efforts as well as the secondary use of qualitative research material. This thesis explores the significance of the discourse on qualitative data archiving in Austria. The quality of existing data sets as well as researchers’ willingness to archive their data or use others' data in secondary analysis will be evaluated. The consequences of a specific Austrian research culture will be analysed. Furthermore, requirements to adequately document, process, archive, and distribute social science research data will be discussed as well as the extent to which qualitative data archiving can contribute to quality in qualitative research. Finally, the potential benefits and challenges of doing a secondary analysis project will be discussed and a methodology for the secondary analysis of qualitative data will be proposed. The dissertation concludes with suggestions about how qualitative data archiving and secondary use can be anchored more profoundly in the social science research community.

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