University of Washington
To improve the capacity of data infrastructures to provide access to and sharing of sensitive qualitative data
The conversation around data privacy and what constitutes appropriate access to sensitive data for research purposes has generally focused on quantitative data. Social scientists who work in whole or part with qualitative data have largely been left out of the data privacy conversation, and platforms for archiving ethnographic, interview, video, and other qualitative data haven’t yet engaged issues of cross-study search or analysis. This grant funds a two-year study led by Nic Weber and Carole Palmer of the University of Washington School of Library and Information of the privacy dimensions of qualitative research data. The project aims to produce a set of functional and technical specifications that will enable appropriate access to and sharing of qualitative data. Weber and Palmer will gather a broad set of use cases from both research case studies and scenario-focused interviews, which will then inform the initial design of a data curation protocol that ensures the contextual integrity of sensitive data collections and enhances the propensity of sensitive data to be reused. That protocol will then be implemented in both a tool for researchers to easily generate structured provenance metadata for sensitive qualitative data and a set of functional and technical requirements that will be piloted at Syracuse University’s Qualitative Data Repository.