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Archival storage of data sets from qualitative studies presents opportunities for combining small-scale data sets for reuse/secondary analysis. In this paper, we outline our approach to combining multiple qualitative data sets and explain why working with a corpus of ‘big qual’ data is a worthwhile endeavour. We present a new approach that iteratively combines recursive surface thematic mapping and in-depth interpretive work. Our breadth-and-depth method involves a series of steps: (1) surveying archived data sets to create a new assemblage of data; (2) recursive surface thematic mapping in dialogue with (3) preliminary ‘test pit’ analysis, remapping and repetition of preliminary analysis; and (4) in-depth analysis of the type that is familiar to most qualitative researchers. In so doing, we show how qualitative researchers can conduct ‘big qual’ analysis while retaining the distinctive order of knowledge about social processes that is the hallmark of rigorous qualitative research, with its integrity of attention to nuanced context and detail.
- archived data
- big data
- big qual
- breadth-and-depth method
- qualitative analysis
- secondary analysis
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'Big data, qualitative style: A breadth‑and‑depth method for working with large amounts of secondary qualitative data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Working paper
Analysing large volumes of complex qualitative data: Reflections from a group of international expertsWeller, S., Edwards, R., Jamieson, L. & Davidson, E., 11 Apr 2019, National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM), p. 1-67, 67 p. (Working Paper (NCRM Working Paper); vol. 2/19).
Research output: Working paperOpen AccessFile