Archive experts contribute to special issue of methodology journal

Article dated: 23 July 2012

Three UK Data Archive staff members feature prominently in the July 2012 special issue of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology.

The issue's ten articles are focused exclusively on working with archived textual and visual material in social research.

Louise Corti, an associate director of the Archive, authored an article, 'Recent developments in archiving social research', in which she discusses four challenges facing social science data archives:

  • methods for archiving qualitative data
  • providing safe access to disclosive data
  • institutional data archiving initiatives
  • dealing with the emergence of 'new' data types
Libby, Louise and Bethany

Libby Bishop, a specialist in qualitative data and research data management, contributed 'Using archived qualitative data for teaching: practical and ethical considerations'. In it she examines the basic infrastructure and resources: where data can be obtained, what supporting contextual materials exist, and providing customised teaching resources. She also addresses the ethical pros and cons of reusing data for both research and teaching.

Bethany Morgan-Brett, who supports researchers and teachers who use qualitative data, contributed to 'Working with material from the Sheppey archive.' This article reflects on the experience of working with archived data from a classic Ray Pahl study and considers the opportunities and challenges of revisiting archived material.

The UK Data Archive has been archiving social science research data since its founding at the University of Essex in 1967. It is an internationally acknowledged centre of expertise in the areas of acquiring, curating and providing access to data. Since 2005 it has been designated a Place of Deposit by the National Archives allowing it to curate public records.

The Archive also manages the ESRC-funded Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the UK's flagship data service for social science research data. ESDS includes a wealth of qualitative data collections available for reuse for teaching and research.

The articles appear in Volume 14 No 4 of the International Journal of Social Research Methodology, a peer-reviewed journal published five times a year by Routledge, an imprint of Taylor and Francis.