Dataverse for Qualitative Data

The Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) launched its Dataverse instance in early 2018. Since then, we have continually adapted the software to our needs and processes, with a special emphasis on qualitative data, which is at the heart of QDR’s mission. In this talk, we will describe some the innovations QDR has introduced to Dataverse to optimize it for qualitative research data:


  1. Given the predominance of textual data in qualitative research, the ability to search through the text of data files in common formats is crucial. QDR added this ability, ensuring also that restricted files remain protected from unauthorized access.

  2. The ability to quickly view a data file enables users to judge whether a data project is of interest to them. With Scholarportal’s “Dataverse Data Explorer,” such easy viewing is already available for typically tabular/quantitative files. Using a suite of lightweight javascript previewers, QDR offers easy online viewing for common qualitative formats, including images, sound, video, and textual files.

  3. To complement its “Annotation for Transparent Inquiry” project, QDR introduced a tool that uploads the content of Hypothesis open web annotations into Dataverse and adds a viewer for those annotations.


We will conclude the talk by describing some of QDR’s ongoing and planned work, focussed centrally on the curation of qualitative data.