The Research Data Center Qualiservice archives and provides qualitative research data from the social sciences for scientific re-use. Our services include personalized and study-specific advice, and curation and processing of your data for re-use and long-term archiving. We also provide research data and relevant context information for scientific re-uses in research and teaching. Internationally interoperable metadata ensure that all data sets are searchable and findable. Persistent identifiers (DOI) ensure that data and study contexts are permanently citable.
Qualiservice was accredited by the RatSWD in 2019 and is based on its quality assurance criteria (in German). Qualiservice is committed to the DFG Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice and takes into account the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship as well as the OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding.
The history of Qualiservice
Qualiservice is the successor of the Archive for Life Course Research (Archiv für Lebenslaufforschung, ALLF), which emerged from the Collaborative Research Center 186 “Status Passages and Risks in the Life Course” at the University of Bremen (1988-2001). ALLF took over the qualitative research data of the CRC, creating an original corpus of about 700 interview transcripts that were digitalized and anonymized.
From 2003 to 2005, ALLF carried out a feasibility study in cooperation with the GESIS Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences that was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). This study examined the potential demand and supply for a data service center for qualitative interview data (Medjedocvić 2001, Opitz & Mauer 2005) and developed the conceptual basis for Qualiservice (Medjedocvić & Witzel 2010).
In 2015, Betina Hollstein, Professor of Qualitative Methods and Microsociology at the University of Bremen, took over the management of Qualiservice and integrated it into the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy.
Since 2018, the DFG funds the implementation of Qualiservice as a nationwide research data center for qualitative social science data.
Since February 2019, Qualiservice is part of the Scientific Information Service Social and Cultural Anthropology (Fachinformationsdienst für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie, FID SKA) at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Additional DFG funding enables us to extend our services to ethnographic data, such as field notes, audio and video data, or social media data.
Since 2019, Qualiservice collaborates with ten other institutions to create Domain Data Protocols (DDPs), i.e., public and referenced sample protocols designed to facilitate the data-specific organization of research data in empirical educational research. This 'DDP-Bildung' project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Since June 2019, Qualiservice is accredited by the German Data Forum (now KonsortSWD) as a scientific research data center. The Monitoring Commission of the RatSWD monitors the quality of all accredited data centers.
Consortium Partners and Workgroups
- SOCIUM – Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy, University of Bremen
At the SOCIUM, the executive office of Qualiservice is responsible for advice and support for research projects, transfers of data, data usage agreements, exchange with the scientific community, and cooperation with national and international partners. The Safe Center, in which the research data and materials are curated under secure conditions – including, for example anonymization checks – is also located at the SOCIUM. Workstations for guests in protected facilities (‘Safe Room’) allow researchers to conduct research with less anonymized data on the basis of a specific user agreement. The executive office also ensures that legal regulations and ethical considerations on data archiving and secondary use are implemented at Qualiservice.
- PANGAEA – certified World Data Center
Since 1993, PANGAEA has been archiving and publishing research data and shaping the worldwide development of research data infrastructures as part of several international cooperations. With origins in environmental and climate research, PANGAEA now works in an interdisciplinary way and is continuously expanding its workflows. To enable the storing and provision of sensitive qualitative data from the social sciences, PANGAEA has adapted its workflows. PANGAEA is a member of the International Council for Science World Data System (ICSU-WDS) as well as a Certified and Accredited World Data Center (WDC). Metadata created with PANGAEA are harvested by various international metadata platforms. The interoperability of metadata also allows the “cross-linking” between literature and data. For example, the service SCHOLIX, which has been established with major participation of PANGAEA, enables publishers to refer to data that form the empirical basis for journal articles.
- State and University Library Bremen (SuUB)
The State and University Library Bremen (SuUB) contributes to Qualiservice with its expertise in creating and developing metadata for qualitative research data (Betancort-Cabrera & Haake 2014). Moreover, the SuUB publishes the Qualiservice study reports, which provide context information on archived research data.
- University Library of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin/Scientific Information Service Social and Cultural Anthropology (FID SKA)
In cooperation with the FID SKA, Qualiservice develops workflows for the archiving and provision of ethnographic research data that are in line with methodological and ethical requirements (Imeri 2018). Discipline-specific research data management and guidelines on contextualizing various types of ethnographic data are developed in close cooperation and exchange with researchers from the anthropological and ethnological research communities.
- GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
For the distributed archiving of mixed-methods studies, Qualiservice and GESIS are is developing workflows to make both quantitative and qualitative research data of a study accessible in a user-friendly way. Since June 2019, Qualiservice also collaborates with ten other partners in the joint project Domain Data Protocol (DDP) Bildung, which is coordinated by GESIS.
SOCIUM - Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Prof. Dr. Betina Hollstein (Head of Qualiservice)
phone: +49 421 218 67280
Dr. Jan-Ocko Heuer
phone: +49 421 218-57053
Dr. Elisabeth Huber
phone: +49 421 219-57058
phone: +49 421 218-58616
Dr. Kati Mozygemba
phone: +49 421 219-57052
PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
Dr. Michael Diepenbroek (Head of PANGAEA)
phone: +49 421 218-65590
State and University Library Bremen (SuUB)
Maria Elisabeth Müller (Director of SuUB)
phone: +49 421 218-59400
Scientific Information Service Social and Cultural Anthropology (FID SKA) at the University Library of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Prof. Dr. Andreas Degkwitz (Director of the University Library of the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
phone: +49 30 2093-99300
Scientific Advisory Board
Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Dilger
University Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Research Dean of the Department of Political and Social Sciences, and Executive Director and Head of the Work Unit Medical Anthropology at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin.
Prof. Dr. Günter Mey
Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal; “Institute for Qualitative Research” in the International Academy at Freie Universität Berlin (Scientific Director), “FQS – Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research” (co-editor), “SSOAR – Social Science Open Access Repository” (co-founder), “Berliner Methodentreffen Qualitative Sozialforschung / Berlin Meeting on Qualitative Research Methods” (organizer).
Dr. Herwig Reiter
Research Associate at the Department of Social Monitoring and Methodology; Deutsches Jugendinstitut München, responsible for counseling and advanced training in qualitative methods.
Prof. Dr. Margrit Schreier
Professor of Empirical Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology and Methods, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences/BIGSSS; Jacobs University Bremen.
Prof. Dr. Jörg Strübing
Professor of Sociology with a focus on Methods and Methodologies of Qualitative Social Research, University of Tübingen; German Data Form (RatSWD) (permanent guest); Spokesperson of the Section Methods of Qualitative Social Research in the German Sociological Association (DGS) (2008-2012); member of the Council of the DGS; Advisory Board member of the RDC eLabour.