Archiving Strategies for Qualitative Data
With the expansion of qualitative research, the question of how to deal with qualitative research data becomes a critical question. Large archives now dispose of specialized facilities for archiving qualitative data. However, compared to quantitative data, qualitative material requires different archiving strategies: data documentation plays a decisive role for secondary analysis, confidentiality issues and aspects of data protection have to be taken into consideration. By means of different archiving strategies for qualitative data, this article illustrates the close relationship between archiving and research processes and demonstrates the implications for the life cycle of data. The concept of living archives is introduced as an important option in this context: By subsequent use of archived resources, data stocks can grow and, in the long term, gain in value. Also discussed is how data archiving can contribute to the quality of qualitative research and what role archives can play in this context.