For the past year, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has funded the preparations to secure Qualiservice as a center that archives sensitive data from qualitative social research. As a living archive, Qualiservice supports researchers in documenting their work during their projects. The aim is to make research materials that develop during the projects available to other scientists for their work. It is especially interesting that it will be possible in the future to investigate topics from social research and compare them – over long time periods and independently of the primary study.
Safe Center for Data Protection
As an accredited research data center, Qualiservice will contribute to the German Data Forum’s Standing Committee Research Data Infrastructure. Around 30 research data centers for social and economic data, of which the majority work with quantitative data, are further developing the current research data structure in Germany in their specific working groups. The accreditation offers Qualiservice the chance to be involved in the concerns of qualitative research and to establish the special requirements that are brought to the forefront by the access of secondary users to sensitive data. The prerequisite for the accreditation was that the research data center fulfils the criteria of the German data Forum with regard to data security and quality and is connected within the academic community.
Qualitative research material made available by Qualiservice may document interviews or observations, for example. It can be in written form as a protocol or transcript but may also be in the form of an audio, picture or video file. Said material generally contains personal data, as the interviewees or observed persons allow the researchers to gain insight into their life. In order to protect the personal data of the persons involved in the research, Qualiservice has established safe work processes and a safe center. Qualiservice carries out measures to protect the data in the safe center and finalizes the preparations for secondary usage. A working space for guest scientists allows research to be carried out directly on site. Secondary users are permitted to research highly anonymized data externally. Access to the data is generally organized with a contract and is only granted for scientific purposes.
Qualiservice: Located at SOCIUM
The organization of a quality-oriented research data center requires national and international networks. The result of intense cooperations was most recently the founding of an own DFG-funded area for ethnic subjects and the involvement in a project network on quality assurance and referencing ability of available research material, based on the example of educational data. The latter project network was funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Qualiservice is located at the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy at the University of Bremen and is led by Prof. Dr. Bettina Hollstein. The archiving and provision of the research materials is organized together with the certified PANGAEA World Data Center and the Bremen State and University Library (SuUB). A joint working process is being developed with GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences for mixed methods studies. Since 2019, Qualiservice has been working as part of the Special Subject Collection Folklore Studies and Ethnology (FID SKA) closely together with the Humboldt University Berlin’s library.
http://www.qualiservice.org/ (in German only)
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Phone: +49 421 218-58512
Email: betina.hollsteinprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de