Re-use of archived research data is still the exception in qualitative social research. This is the case despite the many opportunities for further research provided by the information density of these data. One reason for this reticence lies in the data’s low degree of standardisation, which necessitates comprehensive contextualisation, and the corresponding challenges in data protection and research ethics. It should be added that researchers often have trouble finding re-usable datasets as well as the specialised infrastructure needed for archiving and making available their data.
This is where QualidataNet comes in. QualidataNet stands for a network of research data centres, archives, and repositories that archive research materials from qualitative social research and make them available for re-use. The network will support interested researchers in finding a suitable partner for them and for long-term archiving of their data. Using a central account, they will be able to share and use data, and gather information on pathways to data sharing. This will facilitate finding research data. KonsortSWD has also developed another portfolio supporting researchers in matters of data sharing, a collection of instruments for research data management in qualitative data, which will also be made available via QualidataNet.
Five RatSWD-accredited research data centres (RDCs) will develop the network structure. These are the RDC Qualiservice, the RDC for Education, the RDC for Business and Organizational Data, the RDC for Higher Education Research, and the Archive for Spoken German. Further RDCs, archives, and repositories with a focus on qualitative research data will join the network following its initial implementation.
The portal will be implemented in January 2023.