Managing your data for archiving
Preparing data to be archived with Timescapes
These guidelines offer a checklist for projects affiliated with, or considering affiliating with, Timescapes. They will guide you how to prepare data so you can archive it with Timescapes and share it with other researchers. Our Guide to Data Management Planning for QL researchers is availble here:
- Data Management Planning in QL Research [PDF: 1,069 KB]
If you are already intending to obtain written informed consent from your participants, then it is straightforward to discuss data sharing with them as well. Research participants are broadly supportive of archiving when they understand that only certified researchers will use the data. The generic Timescapes consent form is available below.
- Generic Timescapes consent form [DOC: 330KB]
Here is an example of the form adapted for use with young people:
- Archiving Leaflet for Young People [PDF: 588KB]
When anonymising your data, you will need to consider carefully the implications of sharing your data beyond the original project team. In cases of sensitive data, this anonymisation may need to be more comprehensive.
- General guidelines for anonymisation [DOC: 60KB]. Please also consult with the Timescapes Archivist.
The generic transcription template includes a cover page of descriptive data; this page may need to be customised for your project.
- Generic transcription template [DOC:65KB]
The Timescapes Archive holds not only data but also extensive documentation intended to assist those reusing the data by providing as much original contextual information as possible. Timescapes also attached keywords to interviews and other data that describes the covered themes. These may need to be different to address topics specific to your project.
- Desirable documentation to facilitate the task of secondary analysts [PDF: 65KB]
- Timescapes Data Management: Key Words [PDF: 8KB]
- Timescapes Methods Guide no. 17: Bishop, L. and Neale, B. (2012) Data Management Planning in QL Research [PDF: 1,069 KB]
- Timescapes follows the format suggestions of the UK Data Archive.
Typically, researchers own copyright in the data they produce. Copyright is not transferred to an archive when depositing data; archives ask researchers to sign a license so archives can share data. However, whenever data are reproduced – be it for publication or in an archive – it is necessary to establish clear copyright of that data. This is covered in the consent form above, but some data (any produced by someone other than the researcher) will need to be addressed.
In some instances, researchers may want to have greater control over which data they share: for example, video cannot be anonymised without damaging the quality of data and its value for re-use. In such cases, limiting access may be a better option. The Timescapes team has decided on four categories of access. You should discuss how you might implement these categories in your project with the Timescapes Archivist.