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The long and winding road: archiving and re-using qualitative data from 12 research projects spanning 16 years

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-07-27, 06:00 authored by Catherine Dodds, Peter Keogh, Adam BourneAdam Bourne, Lisa McDaid, Corinne Squire, Peter Weatherburn, Ingrid Young
We describe a pilot project designed to assess the feasibility of re-use across 12 diverse qualitative datasets related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the UK, from research projects undertaken between 1997 and 2013 – an approach which is chronically underused. First, we consider the sweeping biomedical changes and imperatives relating to HIV in this time frame, offering a rationale for data re-use at this point in the epidemic. We then reflexively situate the processes and procedures we devised for this study with reference to relevant methodological literature. Hammersley’s and Leonelli’s contributions have been particularly instructive through this process, and following their lead, we conclude with further considerations for those undertaking qualitative data re-use, reflecting on the extent to which qualitative data re-use as a practice requires attention to both the given and the constructed aspects of data when assembled as evidence.


The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: CD was the lead researcher on this study, supported by Wellcome Trust (grant 110452/Z/15/Z). The time the work was initiated, she was based with Sigma Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. PK co-led this study with CD while based at Greenwich University. AB was based at Sigma Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at the time this study was undertaken. LMcD is funded by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (CSO) at the MRC/CSO Social & Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow (MC_UU_12017/11, SPHSU11). The HIV & the Biomedical study was funded by the MRC/CSO (MC_UU_12017/2, MC_UU_12017/11, SPHSU11). Data contributed to this study by CS was funded by the Nuffield Foundation and the University of East London. Datasets from Sigma Research that were contributed to the study by PW arose from research projects funded by: Department of Health (predominantly via the CHAPS and NAHIP programmes), Monument Trust, National AIDS Trust and Nottingham City Council. IY was supported by Scottish Chief Scientist Office Postdoctoral Fellowship from 2014 to 2017 (PDF/14/02; CF/CSO/02). IY is currently a member of the Centre for Biomedicine, Self and Society, supported by Wellcome Trust (209519/Z/17/Z). The HIV & the Biomedical Study was supported by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC) (MC_U130031238/MC_UU_12017/2).


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Sociological Research Online






19p. (p. 269-287)





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