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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is ESDS Qualidata Online?

What does ESDS Qualidata Online contain?

Who can use ESDS Qualidata Online?

Why do I need to register to see a full interview transcript?

Why isn't more data available?

Can I recommend data to add?

What geographical region and occupational classifications have you used?

Can I see how XML is used in the system?

Can I get help with how to use the site, for example, the search function?

How do I print out parts of the web site?




What is ESDS Qualidata Online?

ESDS Qualidata Online is the digital face of ESDS Qualidata. This online service moves beyond basic catalogue searching and data download by offering web-based free-text and filtered searching, data browsing and retrieval of research data. Potentially this also includes a more advanced delivery of audio and image files.


What does ESDS Qualidata Online contain?

There is currently available material from four collections: The Edwardians (454 transcripts), Mothers and Daughters (46 transcripts) , 100 Families (170 transcripts), and Mothers Alone (60 transcripts). In addition to the data, there is also information on project background, methodology and examples of reuse. Some of this content is also available in the downloadable user guides available with each collection. For The Edwardians collection only, there is also multimedia data including photos and audio excerpts that are linked with the corresponding transcripts.


Who can use ESDS Qualidata Online?

The majority of the web site is open to the public. Some parts of the site require registration (see below).


Why do I need to register to see a full interview transcript?

When researchers deposit data, they do so under a licence agreement that allows some restrictions on data access. For the time being, the basic philosophy behind ESDS Qualidata Online is to offer a sampler service. It is intended to enable researchers to query data and presumes that most people are doing so to determine if data are suitable for download. The site permits browsing of titles of all interviews, searching and retrieving interview extracts, and reading of documentation. Registration is then required where a full interview is displayed. At this point, the data must be protected according to the terms and conditions of their deposit. Registration assures that only approved individuals can access data.


Why isn't more data available?

Because it is expensive, time-consuming and labour intensive to digitise qualitative data to this standard. For collections that start as paper, necessary steps include copying, scanning, optical character recognition, proofreading, and XML tagging. Even collections that start as digital files still require proofreading and tagging. Further work is required such as creating databases to enable the searches to filter by occupation, region, year of birth, and so on. The collections that have been selected so far have met diverse criteria including both our assessment of re-use potential, but also technical requirements. For example, The Edwardians pilot permitted building a system that could handle paper source documents, audio and images.


Can I recommend data to add?

Of course. Please contact us with your suggestions at our help desk. If there is material you would like to see on ESDS Qualidata Online and you are applying for funding to reanalyse data, it may be possible to include costs of digitisation in your proposal. We have worked successfully with users who have done this, with the result that more non-digital data sources are made available through online browsing.


What geographical region and occupational classifications have you used?

The geographic units are based on the Government Office Regions of the Office of National Statistics (ONS). More information can be found here: Government Office Regions

The occupational classifications are based on the Standard Occupational Classification 2000 of the ONS. We opted to use this system for two reasons. First, we needed a classification system for occupations only, not one that also required information about employers (such as Socio-economic Groups). Second, we chose the 2000 system because it has added categories for more modern, non-manufacturing occupations in sales, technical, service, and so on. Given that over time, the majority of our collections will be contemporary, this seemed to be the best option to select at this time. More detailed information is available on the Standard Occupational Classification 2000 from the Office for National Statistics.


Can I see how XML is used in the system?

Yes. Some general background information is given in the Technical Background for the site. The presentations listed on the project give examples of how the XML mark-is applied.


Can I get help with how to use the site, for example, the search function?

Yes. There is a guide to using the site here: www.esds.ac.uk/qualidata/support/Q1.asp.


How do I print out parts of the web site?

This web site use a print stylesheet for printing purposes and you should find that simply using the print function from your web browser will produce print friendly documents.


If you have any questions about the development of ESDS Qualidata Online please email our help desk qualidata@esds.ac.uk.


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Pioneers of Qualitative Research
Pioneers of Qualitative Research

British social research experienced an unprecedented flourishing from the 1940s to the 1970s.

This site takes a look behind the scenes through interviews with researchers who pioneered various qualitative methods.

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