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SOCEY (Studies of Childhood, Education & Youth) & Discussion Paper on Archiving of Qualitative Datas


Members of ANZHES may be interested in the work of SOCEY and the recently developed the SOCEY Repository. Along with Kate O’Connor & Nicole Davis, ANZHES member and HER editor Julie McLeod co-authored the discussion paper, Doing Research Differently: Archiving & Sharing Qualitative Data in Studies of Childhood, Education and Youth.

Full details of the discussion paper as well as information regarding the aims of SOCEY and the SOCEY Repository follows.

DRD cover image: Petrie Terrace State School, Brisbane, May 1970. Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 25777

SOCEY is a community of scholars working in the fields of childhood, education, and youth studies across a variety of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Members of this community come from a wide range of intellectual frameworks, including history, sociology, education, cultural heritage, and the government sector. Our website showcases the wide variety of projects undertaken by these members and provides a platform for discussion on this interdisciplinary field.

SOCEY has recently developed a free qualitative data archive, the SOCEY Repository, tailored specifically to studies of childhood, youth and education and hosted by the Australian Data Archive (ADA). The Repository provides a much-needed digital space for researchers to store, and potentially share, qualitative data. To date, six projects across a wide range of topics have been archived as part of a pilot project, ranging from large Australia-wide longitudinal research conducted by large teams to a smaller, locally focused, PhD project.

Two of the major outputs of the project to date have been the development of the repository and the publication of our Discussion Paper, Doing Research Differently: Archiving & Sharing Qualitative Data in Studies of Childhood, Education and Youth (Julie McLeod, Kate O’Connor & Nicole Davis (Melbourne: University of Melbourne, 2020). DOI:10.25916/5e9e28eec21a1). The paper explores directions and dilemmas in the archiving and sharing of qualitative research. We take as our focus studies of childhood, education and youth, predominantly from across the social sciences. It was prepared as part of a program of work funded by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), which comprised the development of the SOCEY Repository and the archiving of data from six projects within that archive.

Doing Research Differently, discusses opportunities and challenges for archiving and data sharing in qualitative research and provides an overview of Australian and international examples. The authors detail the development of the SOCEY Repository pilot, before considering protocols and exemplars of best practice for archiving and sharing research data alongside the experiences of those who conducted the pilot archiving. Finally, we propose some key principles intended to inform our future work in this area. For further information on SOCEY, affiliated members and projects, to sign up for or have something featured in our newsletter, or to enquire about archiving your born-digital or digitised data (for which we have capacity to provide some project support) visit our website.

SOCEY image: School Children on Sydney Harbour Bridge during opening celebrations, 16 March 1932. NSW State Archives, Digital Image ID 12685_a007_a00704_8734000041r

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