Skip to main content

Lightning talk

Towards reusable qualitative data: lessons from the QualiFAIR project

  • 26 September 2023 |
  • 16:00 |
  • Session 3 |
  • Sala Nouvel - Reina Sofia Museum

Qualitative and context-sensitive data are, as the term(s) suggest, contextual, here-and-now specific and often person-identifying. This raises a number of problems for reuse and multiple uses of these data and creates barriers to transparency and reproducibility of qualitative research. Specifically, sharing and reuse of qualitative data is largely limited due to privacy and copyright regulations. Multiple uses of some qualitative data are also limited because of data’s context-sensitivity – the unique, authentic here-and-now character tied to the specific research situation. Additionally, while in the recent years quantitative data has been made increasingly FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) across disciplines, data management and archiving procedures for qualitative data are still in their infancy. Finally, researchers and students who work with qualitative research are still not oriented towards data sharing and reuse and not trained to practice open qualitative research.

To tackle these issues, we have started a QualiFAIR project as a hub-node infrastructure at the University of Oslo in Norway. The project focuses on making qualitative and context-sensitive data more FAIR as well as raising awareness about both the need for sharing and reuse of qualitative data as well as its possible limitations.

QualiFAIR is organized into five thematic areas: 1) Ethics and privacy, 2) Copyright, 3) Data management, 4) Infrastructure and 5) Metadata. Each area has responsible groups that drive the work in the hub. Working groups are assembled from academic, technical and administrative staff at the university, comprising of researchers, engineers, librarians and research administrators from a number of disciplines, including anthropology, political science, medicine, linguistics, psychology, music research, theology and education. In this way, QualiFAIR’s efforts are truly interdisciplinary, and project’s outputs are to serve qualitative research community across fields and levels of expertise.

In this lightning talk, we will briefly describe the project aims and structure and share main lessons learned in the process of helping to make qualitative data more FAIR that can be of use not only for qualitative researchers internationally, but also open science community more broadly. Presented lessons will focus on five main areas: 1) Building a network of diverse actors involved with qualitative research across disciplines; 2) Developing skills in qualitative data sharing and reuse through seminars and workshops; 3) Creating routines, procedures and concrete instructions for making qualitative data more FAIR; 4) Involving researchers and their own projects as case studies for testing new solutions for qualitative data reuse, and 5) Working with stakeholders to move towards new policies and national solutions for qualitative data sharing and reuse. Based on the presented lessons from the project, we will indicate future directions for the efforts focusing on making qualitative data more reusable.


Agata Bochynska

Dr Agata Bochynska is the presenting author for the contribution “Towards reusable qualitative data: lessons from the QualiFAIR project”. Bochynska is a researcher and a research librarian currently working with implementing open research and reproducibility practices across disciplines at the University of Oslo in Norway. Bochynska’s academic background is in psychology and linguistics with a special focus on the relationship between language and cognitive abilities in children and adults. She completed her PhD in language and linguistics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Norway in 2015 and a postdoctoral fellowship in psychology at New York University in the US in 2021. Bochynska’s recent research interests are also in meta-scientific assessments and evaluating implementation of open research. Since August 2022, together with a team of researchers, administrators and technical staff at the University of Oslo, Bochynska is working on making qualitative data more FAIR by coordinating the QualiFAIR project.