Depositing Qualitative Data
FSD collections also include qualitative data. Qualitative data are non-numerical and contain words (text or speech) or visual images. The data are mostly in paper or electronic format.
FSD encourages researchers to deposit their data for archiving if any of the following criteria are met:
- the data set has potential for comparative use
- the data set has potential to complement other data
- part of the data has not been analysed
- the data set has re-analysis potential (e.g. for testing new hypotheses, employing other methodologies)
Regarding qualitative data two options are available. The data may be archived at the FSD, in which case the archive processes the data for re-use, deals with access applications and licence agreements and delivers the data to the re-user in the desired format. Another option is that FSD provides information and description of the data in its database, without actually archiving the data set itself. In this case data holders need to take care of the delivery logistics themselves and negotiate the terms for secondary use with the re-user.
Only data in electronic format can be archived at the FSD. Audio and video recordings are archived only if they are in digital format and there are no confidentiality problems. Images and textual data that are in paper format may also be archived providing they are deemed valuable for research and their digitalisation (e.g. to PDF files) can be made at reasonable cost.
Data are suitable for archiving if they meet the following legal and technical requirements:
- The material must be suitable for digitalisation. For example, for electronic text files the decisive factor is in which format they are.
- The data are available for research use and there are no copyright restrictions or confidentiality/anonymisation problems.
- Documentation is complete enough to enable processing and re-use.
FSD does not publish qualitative data information and data indexes in English on its web site, as it does for quantitative data.
For further information, please contact Senior Research Fellow Arja Kuula.