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Le droit et l’éthique : qu’est-ce qui change dans les pratiques de terrain ?

Ethical Issues in Archiving and Reusing Interviewees’ Documents

Felicitas Söhner
p. 104-129

Résumés

La progression de la numérisation a signifié un bond en avant dans l’histoire orale (diffusion plus large des enregistrements sonores et des images, traitement plus efficace des données, diversification des sujets de recherche, nouvelles relations avec l’espace public, nouvelles possibilités d’analyse). Quelles questions méthodologiques et éthiques cette évolution pose-t-elle pour l’analyse et l’archivage ? Si des chercheurs en histoire orale ont déjà élaboré des lignes directrices pour promouvoir et protéger la dignité des personnes interrogées, les nouveaux moyens techniques impliquent d’établir de nouvelles normes éthiques adaptées aux technologies numériques (internet, supports de stockage) et en perspective d’une future utilisation. La contribution aborde les questions éthiques liées à la réutilisation prévue des témoignages et de leur documentation. À cette fin, l’auteur présente diverses normes professionnelles ; les questions spécifiques sont discutées sur la base d’expériences issues de ses propres projets. Enfin, des lignes directrices sont proposées sur la façon d’aborder les questions éthiques de la recherche à l’occasion d’une réutilisation historiographique des entretiens et de leur documentation.

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1In contrast to traditional historical approaches, oral historians work with the analysis of recorded transcribed interviews with stakeholders and experts, and the associated documentation.

  • 1 Alexander von Plato, “Oral History als Erfahrungswissenschaft”, in BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biograph (...)
  • 2 Felicitas Söhner, “Methodische Problemfelder und ethische Implikationen in der zeitzeugenbasierten (...)

2The oral history approach enables the reconstruction of social processes and situations and thus supplements source analysis.1 Based on these data, traditional narratives can be reconstructed as processing a subjective past and examined for deviations from the previous state of sources.2 The method can also be used to correct simplifying assumptions about historical processes.

  • 3 Louise Corti, Paul Thompson, “Secondary analysis of archive data”, in Clive Seale et al. (eds.), Q (...)

3The interview documents created in oral history are an extensive and unique, but often underused, source for historical research.3 Their strength lies in the wide range of perspectives that can be explored in this way. The sources generated in Oral History contain information that can be repeatedly analysed, edited and compared with other data. Archived oral documents can, over time, prove to be an integral part of cultural heritage and become the basis for social and historical research. Valuable insights can be gained from their secondary analysis, provided the content aspects of the primary source are relevant to the focus of the secondary research.

  • 4 Libby Bishop, “Protecting Respondents and Enabling Data Sharing: Reply to Parry and Mauthner”, in (...)
  • 5 Ruprecht Mattig, Ingrid Miethe, Ulrike Mietzner, “Biographie und Geschichte in der Bildungsforschu (...)
  • 6 Agnès Arp, “Annäherung an die Gewalterfahrungen ehemaliger Heimkinder aus DDR-Spezialheimen”, in B (...)
  • 7 Martin Watzlawik, Bernd Christmann, Forschungsdatenmanagement und Sekundärnutzung qualitativer For (...)

4The reanalytical approach of qualitative and quantitative data sets is becoming more widespread. Not only in the social sciences is there a noticeable increase in interest in the secondary analysis of qualitative data,4 this is also true, for example, in educational research5 and in the history of science.6 The institutional structures needed to store and make accessible qualitative data are still being developed in Germany.7 However, the extended perspective on international experiences allows some conclusions to be drawn regarding the potentials and challenges of qualitative secondary analyses in oral history and the resulting ethical questions.

5Applying new complexes of questions to existing data creates the potential to generate expanded knowledge and new theories, to inquire into previously open and specific issues and to analyse research results. The new combination and comparison of different data sets promotes the generalizability of research results. At the same time, a number of methodological, legal and ethical issues need to be considered.

6Principles of research ethics concerning the use of time-based sources are included in subject-specific codes of ethics. The Oral History Society UK stated:

  • 8 Oral History Society Website, Is Your Oral History Legal and Ethical? 1. Practical Steps, London, (...)

“The Oral History Society believes that, while oral history work must comply with the law, legal requirements alone do not provide an adequate framework for good practice.”8

  • 9 Irena Medjedovic, “Sekundäranalyse qualitativer Interviewdaten”, in HSR, 3(2008), p. 193–216.

7Recent studies show that there are some concerns and open questions about the research strategy of secondary analysis.9 These include the methodological question of the specificity and context sensitivity of new research on existing data. In addition, secondary research raises data protection concerns and ethical questions, especially in the context of trust.

  • 10 Louise Corti, Janet Foster, Paul Thompson, “Archiving qualitative research data”, in Social Resear (...)
  • 11 Janet Heaton, Reworking Qualitative Data, London, 2004; Natasha Mauthner, Odette Parry, Kathryn Ba (...)
  • 12 Libby Bishop, “Is Secondary Analysis Second Best? A Case Study of Reusing Qualitative Data”, Paper (...)
  • 13 Niamh Moore, “The Context of Context: Broadening Perspectives on Reuse”, in Methodological Innovati (...)
  • 14 DGS (2019), Bereitstellung und Nachnutzung von Forschungsdaten in der Soziologie., Stellungnahme de (...)

8The reanalysis of quantitative data has a long tradition in the humanities. Discussions on the subject were reflected in a large number of forums and their publication organs.10 In the sociological debate on the re-use of qualitative data, pioneering contributions dealt with questions of archiving11 and the need to “recontextualise” data12 Moore 2007;13 DGS 2019)14 Mauthner et al. stress that researchers play a fundamental role not only in the interpretation and theorisation of data, but also in the process of data construction; this should be condisered in epistemological terms. The author shares their positions on research practical and ethical issues for conducting reflected research and discussing epistemological aspects that arise in the reuse of qualitative research data.

  • 15 Joanna Bornat, “A Second Take: revisiting interviews with a different purpose”, in Oral History, 3 (...)
  • 16 Parry, Mauthner 2004.
  • 17 Nigel Fielding, Jane Fielding, “Resistance and adaptation to criminal identity: using secondary ana (...)

9In the context of oral history research, relevant literature on the politics and practice of secondary analysis also appeared.15 Mauthner and Parry (2009) pointed out that there is ambivalence within the research community regarding the storage and sharing of collected data.16 Broom et al. (2009) dealt with the problems and opportunities of systematically archiving qualitative research data. Fielding and Fielding (2000) suggest that resistance to secondary analysis stems more from a reluctance to change work practices than from genuine epistemological concerns.17

  • 18 Paul Thompson, “Re-using Qualitative Research Data: a Personal Account”, in FQS 3(2000), Art. 27; (...)

10In the German studies on oral history, there is no comparable research culture for the reanalysis of qualitative data, which researchers on oral history projects are particularly likely to use. Ethical issues around the long-term storage of biographical documents are rarely discussed explicitly there. Only a few technical articles discuss the problems involved.18 The methodological discourse in German-speaking countries is increasingly beginning to address these questions and there is growing expertise in applying ethical protocols for reuse.

11In this article, the author examines ethical considerations related to the secondary use of interview data, such as ethical areas of conflict. Further, ethical research standards that oral history researchers have agreed to are outlined. Some strategies that are used to address ethical dilemmas are also explored. Thus, the present paper aims to complement the current debate on the supposed “novelty” of secondary analysis of qualitative data by discussing the role of reflexivity and contextualisation in the collection and analysis of qualitative data.

Qualitative Data and Implications for Secondary Use

  • 19 Söhner 2020, p. 25.
  • 20 Corti, Thompson 2012.

12Qualitative data are collected in various disciplines of the social, historical and health sciences. One central strength of the methodological approach is access to patterns of perception and interpretation of historical subjects.19 However, usually the goal is to capture individual experiences of the social world and their interpretations, which the interlocutors formulate from their own perspective.20

  • 21 Corti, Thompson 2012.

13A variety of methodical approaches is used to collect qualitative data. The results of the surveys include personal perspectives—whether in a narrative or guideline-oriented interview, in one-on-one or group discussions, in observation notes, in structured and unstructured diaries or in other individual documents. Most of these data types can come in a variety of formats: analogue or digital; on paper (typed or handwritten); photo, audio or video.21

14In addition to different survey methods and storage media, there are a number of subject-related methods. A distinction can be made between these:

  • coding and categorization (open, thematic, theoretical, or computer-aided);

  • narrative and hermeneutic analyses;

  • conversation and discourse analysis.

  • 22 Corti, Thompson 2012.

15These concepts can also be used to subject qualitative data to a new, possibly comparative, analysis. A number of initiatives worldwide aim to establish national archives of qualitative research data. In Europe, proposals for qualitative archive resource centres are being developed and the corresponding feasibility studies are being carried out.22 Having better archives for qualitative research data promotes the planning and implementation of secondary analysis projects. These processes improve the perception and professional acceptance of secondary research in the social and historical sciences.

  • 23 Libby Bishop, Arja Kuula-Luumi, “Revisiting Qualitative Data Reuse: A Decade On”, SAGE Open, 1–3, (...)

16Secondary analysis uses data from previous projects to address other research questions. Reuse provides a unique opportunity to study the raw materials that past projects have generated and to arrive at new insights from a different historical, geographical, theoretical or substantive perspective, partly with new methods and instruments. As a research strategy, qualitative secondary analysis is gaining increasing recognition. In recent years, this approach has been increasingly implemented and accepted, especially in English-speaking countries, to the extent that it can be understood as a common approach. Several factors explain this change: the open data movement, the guidelines of funding agencies that support data exchange, and the attitude of researchers who understand shared use of resources as enriching. Another factor that supports the reuse of qualitative data is improved services and infrastructures that enable access to thousands of data collections.23 In this context, the oral historian Paul Thompson stated:

  • 24 Thompson 2000, p. 41.

“…the most valuable qualitative datasets for future re-analysis are likely to have three qualities: firstly the interviewees have been chosen on a convincing sample base; secondly, the interviews are free-flowing but follow a life story form, rather than focusing narrowly on the researcher’s immediate themes; thirdly, when practicable re-contact is not ruled out.”24

  • 25 Vivian Szabo, Vicky Strang, “Secondary analysis of qualitative data”, Advances in Nursing Science, (...)

17Qualitative research data can be reused to analyse research material from past projects in order to obtain both methodological and substantive knowledge. In addition, qualitative data can be compared with other data sources or used for a time comparison. This makes it possible to take alternative perspectives or use advanced methods that did not exist when the data was collected. For example, enhanced analysis tools can recognise patterns in data that previously could not be perceived.25

  • 26 Heaton, 2008.
  • 27 Louise Corti, Paul Thompson, “Secondary analysis of archive data”, in Clive Seale et al. (eds.), Q (...)
  • 28 Andreas Witzel, Irena Medjedovic, Susanne Kretzer, «Sekundäranalyse qualitativer Daten», HSR, 3, 2 (...)
  • 29 Denis Huschka, Claudia Oellers, “Warum qualitative Daten und ihre Sekundäranalyse wichtig sind”, i (...)
  • 30 Birgit Halbmayr, “Sekundäranalyse qualitativer Daten aus lebensgeschichtlichen Interviews”, BIOS – (...)

18Reanalysis dœs not automatically imply using data from interviews conducted by external researchers; rather, data from the researcher’s own surveys can be included to address new research questions.26 There are several reasons why this procedure seems plausible.27 In addition to conserving resources, Witzel et al.28 and Huschka et al.29 give due consideration to interview subjects, who are spared multiple surveys. Halbmayr mentions the advantage of repeated interpretation in the case of target groups that are difficult to reach, as well as the possibility of generating new theories by changing research perspectives on existing data.30

  • 31 Martyn Hammersley, “Qualitative Data Archiving: Some Reflections on its Prospects and Problems”, S (...)
  • 32 Henrietta O’Connor, John Goodwin, “Utilizing data from a lost sociological project: Experiences, i (...)
  • 33 Robert Burgess (ed.), Field Research: a Sourcebook and Field Manual, London, 1982.
  • 34 Ken Plummer, Documents of Life: an Introduction to the Problems and Literature of a Humanistic Met (...)
  • 35 Corti, Thompson 2012.

19Despite these recognizable advantages, there is a perceptible reluctance to reuse data in the historical research community. At the same time, this approach raises a number of methodological and ethical concerns, such as confidentiality, anonymity, the relationship between researcher and researchee, and the possibility of auditing primary researchers;31 which must be taken into account.32 Although numerous published texts now deal with methodological approaches in qualitative research,33 the proportion of articles that discuss how interview material is analysed and interpreted historically and socially is rather small,34 and specialist articles dealing with the topic of secondary analysis of qualitative data are rare.35

  • 36 Janet Heaton, Reworking Qualitative Data, London, 2004.
  • 37 Witzel et al. 2008.

20Janet Heaton was one of the first to contribute to the discussion about secondary analysis of qualitative data in the mid-1990s. Her monograph is one of the most comprehensive presentations of this research strategy.36 The author introduces the “rather nebulous concept” approach: she discusses functions, forms, and a typology that is more oriented towards research practice. According to Heaton, secondary analyses are used to ask new or additional questions about old material or to validate findings from previous research.37

  • 38 Louise Corti, Annette Day, Gill Backhouse, “Confidentiality and Informed Consent: Issues for Consi (...)

21Since by depositing interview documents in an archive the data is transferred into a kind of public property, Corti et al. (2000) as well as Heaton (2004) agree to obtain consent for archiving, secondary analysis and data anonymisation already at the time of the collection of primary data.38 Particular consideration should be given to possible access restrictions and measures related to the resumption of contacts with the participants.

  • 39 Fielding, Fielding 2000.

22Fielding and Fielding (2000) provide an informative report on their sociological research. They reaffirm the practical and ethical benefits of reanalysing existing data in their research field.39 In their view, secondary analysis

  • 40 Fielding, Fielding 2000, p. 678.

“… has a particular role in qualitative research concerning sensitive topics or hard-to-reach populations, because researchers can best respect subjects’ sensitivities, and accommodate restricted access to research populations, by extracting the maximum from those studies which are able to negotiate these obstacles. Secondary analysis can protect the sensitivities of subjects and gatekeepers by ensuring they are not over-researched, and can position further enquiries so that they ask what is pertinent to the state of analytic development, building on, rather than simply repeating, previous enquiries.”40

  • 41 Paul Thompson, The Edwardians: the Remaking of British Society, London, 1975.

23Corti and Thompson (2004) published about secondary analysis of archived qualitative data, revisiting Thompson’s (1975) original analysis of British society under the Edwardians.41

  • 42 Arthur Marwick, The Nature of History, London, 1970.
  • 43 Corti, Thompson 2012.

24It is surprising that qualitative research data that have already been collected are less frequently viewed as a relevant source, even if thematic or at least perspective relationships are recognizable.42 Concepts for reusing quantitative research data are well documented, however; methodological instructions on theoretical and practical approaches are also available. The reuse of qualitative data has some methodological similarities with the secondary analysis of qualitative data. Nevertheless, data reuse raises yet more research-related, legal and, above all, ethical questions.43

  • 44 Sarah Irwin, Mandy Winterton, Qualitative Secondary Analysis: A Guide to Practice, Timescapes Meth (...)

25Even though the reuse of data is not completely new, the development of media archiving is making qualitative data much more accessible to researchers who were not involved in the primary research project. Irwin and Winterton describe an extensive debate on the epistemology and ethics of qualitative secondary analysis.44

  • 45 Louise Corti, Janet Foster, Paul Thompson, “Archiving qualitative research data, in Social Researc (...)

26The most recent literature refers to the practice of reusing qualitative research data. But a look at the discourse shows that the positions within qualitative research do not appear to be homogeneous. The views on obstacles to the reuse of data by secondary researchers range from overt support for the disclosure of one’s own data to violent disapproval of sharing one’s “own” research results with others.45

  • 46 Corti, Thompson 2012.

27Corti and Thompson discuss the main reasons for the difficulties with reusing and transferring data. They name issues such as representation, coverage and context of the research and fieldwork, unfamiliarity with the method, lack of infrastructure for data sharing, misinterpretation and threat to intellectual property rights.46

  • 47 BDSG 1990, § 4 and § 40.

28A central challenge is the handling of the sensitive qualitative data of life history studies, which are often in need of special legal protection.47 This is taken into account by the data protection and anonymisation process. The obligation to give informed consent and the trust between researcher and participant, which is often decisive for the interview situation, also raise not only serious legal but also ethical questions, which can lead to widespread reservations on the part of primary researchers with regard to the transfer of qualitative data for subsequent scientific use. Even if all legal provisions are complied with, research ethical questions arise, for example, when it comes to giving confidential data to third parties.

Ethical Issues

  • 48 Irwin, Winterton 2012.

29Ethical standards are based on two aspects: the legal constraints to protect the people from whom data are gathered and the responsibility of the researcher to behave morally beyond the limits set by law. In every research activity, the aim is to comply with the standards of good scientific practice. At the same time, there is a need to reflect on ethical action as a fundamental part of scientific research. Oral history interviews often give researchers deep insights into the biographies, attitudes and interpretative patterns of the project participants. Since this concept can have far-reaching consequences for the lives of respondents and third parties, ethical standards are important in all phases of the research process.48

30In oral history, the United States Oral History Association (OHA) formulated ethical standards soon after it was founded in 1968, and these have been repeatedly updated after the establishment of the International Oral History Association (IOHA). The guidelines focus on three principles:

  • avoiding harm;
  • ensuring voluntary participation and informed consent of the interlocutors;
  • confidentiality and anonymization of the data.49
  • 50 Maureen Haaker, Bethany Morgan-Brett, Developing research-led teaching: Two case studies of practi (...)

31Ethical decisions must be made throughout the research process and must not be limited to the above-mentioned principles.50

  • 51 Witzel et al. 2008; Wolff-Michael Roth, Hella von Unger, “Current perspectives on research ethics (...)
  • 52 Sophie Rosenbohm, Tobias Gebel, Andrea Hense, Potenziale und Voraussetzungen für die Sekundäranaly (...)
  • 53 Söhner et al. 2017.

32As in oral history in general, research ethical questions51 and data protection provisions52 on the correct handling of qualitative data also have to be considered in the secondary analysis of interview-based documents.53 When formulating ethical guidelines, it is necessary to consider relevant aspects for primary researchers, secondary researchers or archivists, the different stages of research as well as the types of materials involved already at the planning stage.

Legal Framework Conditions

  • 54 Stefan Liebig, Gebel Tobias, Matthis Grenzer, Julia Kreusch, Heidi Schuster, Ralf Tscherwinka, Oli (...)
  • 55 Liebig et al. 2014.
  • 56 Liebig et al. 2014.

33The current legal framework conditions in Germany for the use of life history interviews for scientific purposes can initially be described as “sufficient”. For primary research, the legal framework for the collection, processing and use of personal documents provides for the following principles: informed consent and anonymisation in accordance with the applicable data protection law. Numerous provisions already allow for the archiving and subsequent use of qualitative interview data under the current data protection framework.54 Nor is the transmission of qualitative interview data to secondary researchers fundamentally prohibited, even if the research purpose differs from the original research question. At the same time, the existing legal framework, particularly with regard to secondary analytical use, results in considerable additional expense for primary researchers in terms of anonymisation, which is often difficult to achieve in the ongoing research process. With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) adopted in 2016, there are for the first time uniformly binding data protection regulations for the member states of the European Union. The GDPR is based on the principle of prohibition subject to authorisation, so that either consent or a legal authorisation standard is required for data processing operations. The collection, processing and use of personal data are subject to the conditional prohibition. Pursuant to § 3 (3) of the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) the collection of data about the person concerned is required. The method of collection is irrelevant, whether it is oral, written, by questioning or by inspection of documents.55 Processing means saving, changing, transmitting, blocking and deleting data, § 3 (4) BDSG. Use means any use of personal data, as far as it is not processing, § 3 (5) BDSG. The consequence of this broad legal formulation is that virtually everything that could be done with personal data is regulated by the BDSG. In order to escape these strict requirements, it is advisable to collect or use data only anonymously. Anonymisation in the sense of the BDSG means that the data is changed in such a way that a personal reference can no longer be restored or can only be restored with a disproportionately large expenditure of time, cost and labour, cf. § 3 (6) BDSG. If data is nevertheless collected or processed in a personal form, the safest way to comply with the requirements of the BDSG is to obtain the consent of the person concerned in accordance with § 4a BDSG.56 Especially with regard to data archiving and the use of archived data for secondary research purposes, Liebig et al. 2014 believe that the relationship between Art. 83 GDPR and Art. 5b GDPR is unclear. Art. 83 GDPR can be regarded as a licensing standard “for the purpose of scientific research”. Since Art. 83 GDPR dœs not contain any express permission to use archived data for secondary research purposes, Liebig et al. 2014 states that there is a need for clarification here. The heterogeneity of the research process and the data generated poses various challenges for the archiving and appropriate re-use of qualitative data. In my opinion, specific recommendations on how to handle the data should be designed for the different collection methods and the different types of data.

Secondary Analysis of Oral History Data in General

  • 57 Rosemary Elliot, “Growing Up and Giving Up: smoking in Paul Thompson’s 100

34One of the strengths of the life history approach is that everyday aspects and routines can be located in a broader biographical and social context. Aspects that were not part of the original research interest can also be investigated by means of comparative re-analysis. For example, interviews collected elsewhere to investigate contemporary attitudes to smoking or gender roles could be considered.57

  • 58 Advantages of secondary research are: it is inexpensive; data are usually easily accessible, immed (...)
  • 59 Louise Corti, Melanie Wright, Consultants' Report to the Medical Research Council on the MRC Popul (...)

35In secondary analysis, the peculiarities of the data source, its context (people, time) and its situational embedding (project background, primary research questions) are to be considered.58 As a rule, follow-up interview-based studies require additional ethical approval. In order to safeguard the personal rights of those involved, transferring qualitative interview data in accordance with data protection law and research ethics involves two central tasks: obtaining informed consent from the project participants and preserving their anonymity.59

  • 60 Louise Corti, Annette Day, Gill Backhouse, “Confidentiality and Informed Consent: Issues for consi (...)
  • 61 Denise Thomson et al., “Central Questions of Anonymization: A Case Study of Secondary Use of Quali (...)

36The impact of ethical questions on the reanalysis of oral history data depends on the nature as qualitative data. Above all, because of the wealth of detail in personal information and the possibility of reidentification in many cases due to traceable networks, measures such as anonymization may be required. At the same time, this is to be viewed critically from a methodological point of view, since deleting information can render the data unusable for scientific analysis.60 Thomson et al. reaffirm in this context61 that anonymization should not be seen as a purely technical process:

  • 62 Thomson et al. 2005, Abs. 1.

“Anonymizing is a part of qualitative work that dœs not receive much attention, yet close analysis shows that the process is full of methodological, ethical and theoretical tensions.”62

  • 63 Sarah Yardley, Kate Watts, Jennifer Pearson, Jane Richardson, “Ethical issues in the reuse of qual (...)
  • 64 Felicitas Söhner, “Forschungsethische Anforderungen und Standards bei der Archivierung von Zeitzeu (...)
  • 65 Qualidata, Legal and Ethical Issues in Interviewing, Qualidata Website, Essex, 1998; ESRC, ESRC Da (...)

37Yardley et al. underlined that “the issue of consent is a dominant ethical issue”63. In addition to proposals for anonymization, there are debates on regulations for ethical archiving of qualitative data.64 Several guidelines for qualitative researchers on ethical and legal issues related to informed consent, confidentiality and copyright have been published.65

  • 66 Corti et al. 2000; Kluge, Opitz 1999; Irena Medjedović, Andreas Witzel, Wiederverwendung qualitati (...)

38So interview subjects should be asked to grant their informed consent not only to collect and evaluate data as part of the primary research, but also to archive their data and possibly to make it available for future scientific use.66

  • 67 Yardley et al. 2014, p. 105.

39The question of informed consent is a predominant theme of the contributions dealing with ethics in secondary analysis. According to Yardley, secondary analysis dœs not always refer to the existence of specific consent, but rather to the existence of general consent.67 A discrepancy between research practice and research ethics is suspected to be the cause.

  • 68 Thomson et al. 2005
  • 69 Sandra J Cobban, Eunice M Edgington, Janice FL Pimlott, An ethical perspective on research using s (...)

40For secondary research, Thomson et al. (2005) recommend anonymisation of the available data, provided that it is not possible to re-establish contact and obtain the consent of the interview partners68 Cobban et al. (2008) point out in this context that consent cannot be obtained if the data is completely anonymised.69 This issue could be addressed by pseudonymised archiving of primary data so that subsequent consent for further use can be obtained.

  • 70 Felicitas Söhner, Matthis Krischel, “Reproduktive Gesundheit und humangenetische Beratung im Dialo (...)

41In the research project on the history of human genetics worked on by the author (2017-2018) this was dealt with in the declaration of consent.70 Thus, potential secondary researchers have the opportunity to contact the responsible archive of the Society of Human Genetics and, depending on the individual consent of the interviewee, to ask for further use or to use the interview documents for further research questions.

Relationship of Confidence

  • 71 Corti et al. 2000.
  • 72 Jane Richardson, Barry Godfrey, “Towards ethical practice in the use of archived transcripted inte (...)

42Researchers are intensely concerned with confidentiality issues and agreements that were made at the time of data collection. These concerns have been extensively discussed in the disciplinary literature.71 In particular, the importance of trust, transparency and clarity in the relationship between primary researchers and interlocutors and the implications for data collection were formulated early on.72

43Concerns about research ethics are rooted in a specific perception of the relationship between researchers and the people being researched. In life history research, the person of the researcher takes on special importance by going into the field and thus becoming the instrument of the survey itself.

  • 73 Witzel et al. 2008.
  • 74 Richardson, Godfrey 2003; Parry, Mauthner 2004.

44Despite largely strict procedures that should ensure anonymity and confidentiality for the research participants, some members of the qualitative research community still consider the ethical problem as unsolved.73 They emphasize the greater responsibility of the primary researcher as interviewer, based on a personal, emotional research relationship, which develops during the exchange in advance and during the interview with participants, and is more difficult to perceive from the more distant perspective of a secondary researcher74. This applies in reverse for historical work with interview subjects.

  • 75 Immaculada de Melo-Martin, Anita Ho, “Beyond informed consent: The therapeutic misconception and t (...)
  • 76 Thomas Schlingmann, “Für ein neues Verhältnis von Wissenschaft, Praxis und Betroffenen”, in Zeitsc (...)

45Trust is particularly important in interactions between primary researchers and participants,75 but in secondary analysis this dynamic change. Maintaining control over how personal data and stories are handled is a premise for many interviewees to participate in research projects at all. There is also the debate about a “new relationship between science, practice and those affected”76. There is a debate in the literature about how long a relationship of responsibility lasts. In the area of primary research, this process is still in its infancy, but in the area of secondary research, it raises far more complex questions. The sovereignty of self-interpretation, preservation of self-determination and participation of study participants confronts secondary research with new questions that may initially cast doubt on a feasible solution.

  • 77 Peter Jackson, Graham Smith, Sarah Olive, Families Remembering Food: Reusing Secondary Data, Unive (...)
  • 78 Richardson, Godfrey 2003.

46Here, attention should be drawn to a number of ethical questions that arise, particularly through the reuse of life history interviews. Jackson refers in particular to practical issues of transcript preparation: for example, whether it is legitimate to summarise excerpts or to change sequences.77 Questions also arise about the role of secondary researchers who were not themselves in contact with the interviewees and experience a greater distance than the original interviewers. For researchers, secondary use inevitably means detachment from the interviewees, even if they can enter into an imaginary relationship through the interview document.78

  • 79 Witzel et al. 2008.

47Access to the information is negotiated in the interaction processes between the oral historian and the project participant. Witzel et al. emphasize that an institutionalized transfer of the data and documents based on interviewee accounts extends the relationship of trust into a formalized relationship. Improper use of data collected by third parties would not only mean a breach of contract, but also a breach of trust. This could jeopardize readiness for interview at a later date and thus the future of the study.79

48In secondary use, relevant questions may also arise from the analysis of the field notes that are produced alongside the interview transcripts. While this provides valuable insights into the perspective of the primary researchers and the social spirit of the time, it raises particular questions: How to deal with subjective reports on the extent to which the interview was conducted from the interviewer’s perspective. Here the secondary researcher may come across flattering as well as disparaging comments or even background information. These aspects, such as personal trauma, criminal acts or shameful experiences, were expressed with the reference to discretion and making them publicly available would constitute a clear breach of trust and raise serious concerns about the confidentiality of the primary researcher.

49The aforementioned personal contents can be classified as sensitive data, for example in patient files. Without the explicit approval of the parties involved (primary researchers, interviewees), the documents are subject to the general protection conditions for archival records. In Germany, blocking periods of 60 years after the file has been closed (§ 11 BArchG) and an additional 30 years after death – or if this date is unknown, 110 years after birth – apply (§ 5 BArchG). Depending on the document, there may be additional rules, such as the possibility of earlier consultation for scientific purposes with the obligation of secrecy and anonymisation of names in publications. In the author’s research projects, corresponding text passages or contents can thus be used after the expiry of the embargo periods or only with the express permission of the persons concerned.

50There has been some discussion of reanalysing earlier qualitative research data. A key issue that raises the secondary use of life history sources is that of the ethical issues involved in revisits and, in the case of oral history, of the re-interview of interviewees. The potentiality of revisits opens up a whole different range of ethical questions, highlighting the dialogical dimension of the ethical responsibility and its very practical impact on field work.

  • 80 Val Gillies, “Secondary analysis in investigating family change: exploring substantive and concept (...)

51In any case, the interviewees should agree to be contacted again. If this has not been clearly formulated, it is the task of the primary researcher to ask the interview partners about their willingness to be interviewed again. But this is not always easy a few years after a project. Gillies and Edwards rightly noted that “it would be extremely time-consuming, and in many cases impossible, to trace those who were interviewed [many years before] in order to seek their explicit informed consent. Further, this practice could be viewed as unethical in itself, given that interviewees were often told that no further contact would be made.”80

  • 81 Fielding, Fielding 2000, p. 678.

52The re-evaluation of life history recordings offers an alternative here in order to avoid disturbing or even harassing previous interview participants. According to Fielding and Fielding the secondary analysis approach “best respect subjetcs’ sensitivities, and accomodate restricted access to research populations, by extracting the maximum from those studies which are able to negotiate these obstacles. Secondary analysis […] can position further enquiries so that they ask what is pertinent to the state of analytic development, building on, rather than simply repeating, previous enquiries”.81 Especially against this background, secondary analysis in qualitative research offers the opportunity to investigate sensitive aspects or hard-to-reach target groups, while at the same time taking into account the sensitivities of individuals.

Re-Interpretation

53Qualitative research data not only provide extensive source material, but also enable empirically sound, historical analyses in the context of social change. Secondary researchers can go beyond the reinterpretation of individual studies by combining material from different studies and opening up empirical longitudinal perspectives also for answering new research questions. To enable comparative secondary analysis, a unifying, standardising description is essential to a certain extent.

  • 82 Jackson et al. 2008, p. 12.

54Jackson points out in this context that in this case the tape recording is preferable to the transcript as the source, as the former provides access to a wide range of information that is lost in the written document (accent, tone of voice, speech rate, pauses, hesitation, embarrassment, humour, irony, sadness, etc.).82 An additional loss of information can occur if interview summaries are used instead of complete transcripts.

  • 83 101 Söhner 2020; Felicitas Söhner, Thorsten Halling, Thomas Becker, Heiner Fangerau, “Auf dem Weg z (...)

55For example, in a research project on the history of psychiatry conducted by the author, audio documents were recorded.83 The interviewees gave their written consent for the interviews to be recorded and archived. During the interview, aspects along a content guideline were questioned. To evaluate the resulting interview documents simply unreflectively according to other thematic questions is methodologically questionable. Because after explaining their research interests, the interview partners assumed that the project’s focus was on their view of past developments in their profession. For example, they were not asked directly about the influence of foundations and grants on their research, although some interviewees occasionally referred to this, nor were they given any explicit indication that the role of foundations in education policy might be an aspect to be investigated. If different research questions had been asked, the answers given would probably have been different, as different expectations would have prevailed from the perspective of both the primary researchers and the interviewees. In any case, this aspect must be addressed and considered in the qualitative re-analysis.

56In this context, it is also important to consider whether formulating new research questions and taking different perspectives from another researcher’s interpretation raises ethical issues.

  • 84 Wendy Hollaway, Tony Jefferson, Doing Qualitative Research Differently, London, 2000.
  • 85 Bornat 2003, p. 51.

57Alderson, cited in Hollaway and Jefferson express concern that later researchers may examine the interview data she collected for aspects that both she and her interviewees may regret.84 Such considerations could be applied to all secondary analysis projects. Hollaway and Jefferson, on the other hand, challenge Alderson’s argument that recorded language can only have the meaning that its authors intended. They recognise the potential of the subjective patterns of perception and interpretation behind them, which are not consciously formulated.85

  • 86 Tom Wengraf, Prue Chamberlayne, Interviewing for life-histories, lived situations and personal exp (...)

58Wengraf and Chamberlayne, who are currently working on biographical narrative and psychosocial approaches to data collection, state that research into individual time perception, identity construction and the change in subjectivity through interview-based history research can form the basis for later systematic comparisons.86 Examining the peculiarity of individual experience can lay the foundations for comparing practices and processes that are of different interest to the researcher, and enable well-founded—longitudinal or cross-sectional—description and theorization of different objects of investigation.

  • 87 Sharon Macdonald, Roger Silverstone, “Science on Display: the Representation of Scientific Controv (...)
  • 88 Robert Stradling, M. Noctor, B. Baines, Teaching Controversial Issues, London, 1984.

59With regard to secondary scientific analyses, the key research ethical concern is that without the consent of the research participants’ interview data should not be used for controversial topics. Controversial issues are those on which there is no agreement in science on the “facts”, which generate strong feelings and lead to conflicting opinions in communities and society.87 These are usually very complex and cannot be resolved simply by relying on evidence. Stradling et al. (1984) distinguish between superficial and inherently controversial issues.88

  • 89 Hollaway, Jefferson 2000, p. 91.
  • 90 Bornat 2003, p. 53.

60But as a researcher, how can this question be addressed? The new research interest, the new context of use must be disclosed and, if necessary, discussed. As Hollaway and Jefferson argue, “a limit to the issue of consent”89 could ultimately arise. Here the right of those whom we have interviewed and to whom we are committed is opposed to the principle of freedom of expression.90

Time Element

  • 91 Parry, Mauthner 2004, p. 141.

61In particular, the technological progress associated with the passage of time raises ethical questions. For example, interviewees may have given their consent to the archiving and further use of their biographical documents, but without any idea of the extent to which public access to the material and technical possibilities of use may develop. Parry and Mauthner (1998) state that a reinterpretation of qualitative data at a later stage can be problematic because, under certain conditions, they were produced as a co-construction of primary researchers and research participants. They point to the need to reflect the resulting epistemological implications in secondary analysis.91

  • 92 Mason 2007, 3.2.

62Mason refers to an analytical distance that results from the timing between data collection and secondary analysis. At the same time, she argues that “some forms of interpretation are only possible from a distance.”92 The resulting effects should be critically reflected on in terms of methodology.

  • 93 Edmund King, Maya Parmar, Shafquat Towheed, «Reusing historical questionnaire data and using new c (...)

63Another aspect that should not be neglected are discrepancies that can arise from the different times of origin of oral history documents in comparative studies on a topic. For example, while some records were produced relatively soon after the event under investigation, others may have been formulated from memory several decades later. The resulting discrepancies should be carefully contextualised and interpreted.93 According to Comaroff and Comaroff:

  • 94 John Comaroff, Jean Comaroff. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination. Oxford, 1992, p. 34.

“If texts are to be more than literary topoi, scattered shards from which we presume worlds, they have to be anchored in the processes of their production, in the orbits of connection and influence that give them life and force.”94

  • 95 Niamh Moore, “(Re)Using Qualitative Data?”, Sociological Research Online, 12(3), 2007.
  • 96 Jackson et al. 2008, p. 3.

64Bishop (2005) and Moore (2007)95 propose to take into account both the original survey context and the current analysis context. According to Jackson, recontextualisation also means that secondary researchers should look at the historical conditions and political climate prevailing at the time of the primary study, consider the shift in terminology and models, reflect on the source of answers to current questions from answers to past questions, and consider the complex personal interaction between interviewers, respondents and secondary researchers.96

  • 97 Jackson et al. 2008, p. 18.
  • 98 Meg Wiggins, Looking back on becoming a mother: Longitudinal perspectives on maternity care and th (...)

65Also in view of the fact that a new context can influence the interpretation of the interview, it is common practice in oral history to obtain the consent of those interviewed before interview excerpts are to be published in publications, in a museum exhibition or on a website. Jackson et al. recommend here the understanding of “informed consent as part of an ongoing dialogue with interviewees.”97 This raises the ethical question of contacting participants from previous projects who have not given their direct consent to be contacted again. Wiggins et al. addressed this issue by explaining the approach and pointing out to the re-contacted participants that all contact data would be destroyed unless they now gave their explicit consent to keep, re-contact and use the data.98

  • 99 Bren Neale, Karen Henwood, Janet Holland, “Researching lives through time: An introduction to the (...)
  • 100 Bren Neale, Libby Bishop, “The Timescapes Archive: a stakeholder approach to archiving qualitative (...)
  • 101 Janet Holland, Rachel Thomson, Sheila Henderson, Qualitative longitudinal researchA discussion p (...)

66Also the continued use of qualitative longitudinal data generated with interview partners also raises a number of ethical considerations. These data can pose a higher risk of identity disclosure due to the amount of information collected over time. The time element of qualitative longitudinal examinations is therefore a complicating factor for the ethical implementation of a study, but can also promote good ethical practice. According to Neale et al. the ethical complexities and challenges that generally prevail in qualitative research are reinforced in complex longitudinal research.99 This complexity should raise awareness that ethical reasoning and practice are temporally situated.100 Specifically for oral history, Holland et al. state that further issues to be examined include knowledge of the data, strategies for exchange, dissemination of the results and the reputation of the researchers.101

Reflections and Conclusion

  • 102 Witzel et al. 2008.

67The secondary analysis of qualitative data offers great potential for oral history, but so far this is too little discussed and developed in the German-speaking scientific community.102 In the last decade, not least through technological developments, we have experienced a new culture of secondary use of qualitative data.

68In this paper we have considered ethical and epistemological challenges that arise from the reuse of oral history documents. In particular, we looked at the Secondary Analysis of Oral History Data in General, the Relationship of Confidence, the Reinterpretation and the Time Element. Instead of considering secondary analysis as a purely practical procedure that can be implemented by means of appropriate technical solutions, it has been shown that re-use raises a number of epistemological and ethical questions that are relevant to qualitative research in general and to life history research in particular. Ethical standards are bases on two aspects: the legal constraints to protect the people from whom data are gathered and the responsibility of the researcher for responsible behaviour towards the researched beyond the laws.

  • 103 Unger 2018.
  • 104 Richardson, Godfrey 2003.
  • 105 Moore 2007, 4.8.
  • 106 John Law, After Method: Mess in Social Science Research, London 2004.
  • 107 Peter Jackson, Sarah Olive, Graham Smith, “Myths of the family meal: Re-reading Edwardian life his (...)

69Research ethics is based on legal requirements, such as the GDPR, for the protection of persons from whom data is collected, and on the responsibility of researchers for responsible behaviour that gœs beyond the legal requirements. With regard to the variety of audio-visual documents and qualitative methods as well as the conflicting demands and interests involved, a standardized approach to research ethical principles is hardly possible. Rather, the complex situation requires a process-oriented understanding of ethical dilemmas and solutions.103 At the same time, ethical guidelines are necessary, even though they cannot regulate every possible constellation in advance, even if ethics committees monitor their implementation.104 Moore stresses the need to abandon the desire for regular certainty105 and the expectation of security in order to respond to situations in an ethically sensitive and responsible manner,106 taking into account the research context and the concerns of the participants.107

70On the one hand, the research ethical aspect has to be considered the peculiarity of interview documents, with their abundance of personal and sensitive information about the respondents and their environment. On the other hand, this approach impacts on methodology, since the confidentiality of the research participant can be understood as a far-reaching basic ethical condition for data collection.

71The requirement not to jeopardize the trust of the participant means that researchers conducting the secondary analysis need to find ways of committing to confidentiality that take into account the informed consent of the research participant for future scientific uses.

72Even for so-called “primary researchers”—even if they do not yet see themselves as such—these questions should already be thought through in the planning of life history projects. The preservation of anonymity and the handling of data in accordance with data protection law play a major role in the willingness of primary researchers and those being researched to make their data available for secondary use. The disclosure of de facto anonymous data as well as data that respondents have consented to be disclosed can be regarded as legally and ethically unproblematic. In any case, researchers should think about archiving and potential further use of the data before, or at the latest at the beginning of, a research project, as well as about more far-reaching measures that make scientific use possible.

  • 108 Jackson 2009, p.137.
  • 109 Jackson et al. 2008, p.19.
  • 110 Mason 2007, 3.3.
  • 111 Jackson et al. 2008.

73For secondary researchers, the reuse of life history material requires a rigorous reflexive process and awareness of one’s own perspective and position in relation to the original interlocutors.108 Fundamental is the recognition of the dialogical character of oral history itself, in which the past is seen through the glasses of the present and which is influenced by numerous interactions between researchers and explorers. According to Jackson,109 respondents themselves take on the role of reflexive subjects who are able to shape their role in the interview process; thus, reflexivity is not reserved for primary researchers alone. Secondary analysis adds a further level of complexity to this dialogical process. The author agrees with Mason’s call for a more complex understanding of reflexivity and interpretation.110 As Jackson et al. have shown, in secondary analytical research projects supplementary field notes should be used for contextualisation.111 The focus should be on the question of (re)contextualisation and thus the implementation of reflexive strategies on the part of the researchers.

  • 112 Irena Medjedović, Andreas Witzel, Wiederverwendung qualitativer Daten: Archivierung und Sekundärnu (...)

74The ethical debate also has implications for archiving bodies; the resulting main tasks for archives are thematically and methodically centred acquisition, data processing, systematic data collection and management, as well as professional data backup and provision.112 Archiving biographical material and making it available for future academic use means walking a tightrope between the demands of archive users and responsibility towards research participants.

75The ethical issues discussed here regarding secondary analysis in oral history could contribute to a useful approach to future projects, because they are applicable to the different and constantly changing perspectives and priorities of primary and secondary researchers, archivists and research participants. Workable ethical and legal solutions are possible that make the data available for research, protect those involved from the misuse of their data and thus maintain a relationship of trust with interviewees. The aim is to implement consistent rules in the German-speaking scientific community of oral historians, which ensure standards and make it possible to find case-by-case solutions in every situation.

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Notes

1 Alexander von Plato, “Oral History als Erfahrungswissenschaft”, in BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung und Oral History, 4, 1991, p. 97–119.

2 Felicitas Söhner, “Methodische Problemfelder und ethische Implikationen in der zeitzeugenbasierten Historiographie”, in BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung und Oral History, 1/2, 2017, p. 273–289; Felicitas Söhner, Die Psychiatrie-Enquete - mit Zeitzeugen verstehen. Köln, 2020.

3 Louise Corti, Paul Thompson, “Secondary analysis of archive data”, in Clive Seale et al. (eds.), Qualitative Research Practice, London, 2012.

4 Libby Bishop, “Protecting Respondents and Enabling Data Sharing: Reply to Parry and Mauthner”, in Sociology, 39(2), 2005, p. 333–336; Alex Broom, Lynda Cheshire, Michael Emmison, “Qualitative Researchers’ Understandings of Their Practice and the Implications for Data Archiving and Sharing”, in Sociology, 43(6), 2009; Miguel Valles, Louise Corti, Maria Tamoukou, Alejandro Baer, «Qualitative Archives and Biographical Research Methods», in FQS, 12(3), 2011.

5 Ruprecht Mattig, Ingrid Miethe, Ulrike Mietzner, “Biographie und Geschichte in der Bildungsforschung”, in BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung und Oral History, 2, 2016, p. 165–169; Laura Moser, “„Solche Sachen soll man nicht für Geld machen“ – Professionalisierung und Praktiken häuslicher Kleinkindbetreuung in den 1970er Jahren”, Paper Presented at the Workshop: Perspektivwechsel – Protokolle und Oral History-Interviews als Quellen einer Neuen Geschichte (der Arbeit), University of Heidelberg, 2019.

6 Agnès Arp, “Annäherung an die Gewalterfahrungen ehemaliger Heimkinder aus DDR-Spezialheimen”, in BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung und Oral History, 1–2, 2017, p. 235–258; Felicitas Söhner, Die Psychiatrie-Enquete - mit Zeitzeugen verstehen, Köln, 2020.

7 Martin Watzlawik, Bernd Christmann, Forschungsdatenmanagement und Sekundärnutzung qualitativer Forschungsdaten, Wiesbaden, 2020.

8 Oral History Society Website, Is Your Oral History Legal and Ethical? 1. Practical Steps, London, 2019, https://www.ohs.org.uk/advice/ethical-and-legal/.

9 Irena Medjedovic, “Sekundäranalyse qualitativer Interviewdaten”, in HSR, 3(2008), p. 193–216.

10 Louise Corti, Janet Foster, Paul Thompson, “Archiving qualitative research data”, in Social Research Update 10, University of Surrey, 1995; Louise Corti, Paul Thompson, “Are you sitting on your qualitative data? Qualidata's mission”, in International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 1(1), 1998, p. 85–89; Janet Heaton, Secondary analysis of qualitative data, Social Research Update 22, University of Surrey, 1998; Louise Corti, Susanne Kluge, Katja Mruck, Diane Opitz, “Special Issue: Text, Archive Re-analysis”, in Qualitative Research Forum, December 2000; M. Boddy, Data Policy and Data Archiving: Report on Consultation for the ESRC Research Resources Board, University of Bristol, 2001; Paul Thompson, “Pioneering the Life Story Method”, in International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 7(1), 2004, p. 81–84; Manfred Bergmann, Thomas Eberle, “Special Issue: Qualitative Inquiry: Research, Archiving, Reuse”, in Qualitative Research Forum, May 2005; Louise Corti, “20 years of archiving and sharing qualitative data in the UK”, in RatSWD Working Paper, 267, 2018, p. 14–24.

11 Janet Heaton, Reworking Qualitative Data, London, 2004; Natasha Mauthner, Odette Parry, Kathryn Backett-Milburn, “The Data are Out There, or are They? Implications for Archiving and Revisiting Qualitative Data”, in Sociology, 32(4), 1998, p. 733–745; Odette Parry, Natasha Mauthner, “Whose Data Are They Anyway? Practical, Legal and Ethical Issues in Archiving Qualitative Research Data”, in Sociology, 38(1), 2004, p. 139–152; Odette Parry, Natasha Mauthner, “Back to Basics: Who Re-uses Qualitative Data and Why?”, in Sociology, 39(2), 2005, p. 337–342; Libby Bishop, “Protecting Respondents and Enabling Data Sharing: Reply to Parry and Mauthner”, in Sociology, 39(2), 2005, p. 333-336; Hella von Unger, “Forschungsethik, digitale Archivierung und biographische Interviews”, in Helma Lutz et al. (ed-342; Hella von Unger, “Forschungsethik, digitale Archivierung und biographische Interviews”, in Helma Lutz et al. (eds.), Handbuch Biographieforschung, Berlin, 2018, p. 685–697.

12 Libby Bishop, “Is Secondary Analysis Second Best? A Case Study of Reusing Qualitative Data”, Paper Presented at the Workshop: Reusing Qualitative Data, University of Manchester, 2005.

13 Niamh Moore, “The Context of Context: Broadening Perspectives on Reuse”, in Methodological Innovations Online, 1 (2) 2006

14 DGS (2019), Bereitstellung und Nachnutzung von Forschungsdaten in der Soziologie., Stellungnahme des Vorstands und Konzils der DGS, https://www.soziologie.de/nc/aktuell/stellungnahmen/single-view/archive/2019/01/09/ar-ticle/bereitstellung-und-nachnutzung-von-forschungsdaten-in-der-soziologie/.

15 Joanna Bornat, “A Second Take: revisiting interviews with a different purpose”, in Oral History, 31(1), 2003, p. 47–53; Jennifer Mason, “Re-using qualitative data: on the merits of an investigative epistemology”, in Sociological Research Online 12(3), 2007; Robert Perks, Alistair Thomson (eds.), The oral history reader, London, 2006.

16 Parry, Mauthner 2004.

17 Nigel Fielding, Jane Fielding, “Resistance and adaptation to criminal identity: using secondary analysis to evaluate classic studies of crime and deviance”, in Sociology, 34(2000), p. 671–689.

18 Paul Thompson, “Re-using Qualitative Research Data: a Personal Account”, in FQS 3(2000), Art. 27; Corti, Thompson 2012; Janet Heaton, Secondary analysis of qualitative data: an overview, in HSR, 3(2008), p. 33–45; Ron Iphofen, Martin Tolich (eds.), The Sage Handbook of qualitative research ethics, London, 2018.

19 Söhner 2020, p. 25.

20 Corti, Thompson 2012.

21 Corti, Thompson 2012.

22 Corti, Thompson 2012.

23 Libby Bishop, Arja Kuula-Luumi, “Revisiting Qualitative Data Reuse: A Decade On”, SAGE Open, 1–3, 2017, p. 1– 15.

24 Thompson 2000, p. 41.

25 Vivian Szabo, Vicky Strang, “Secondary analysis of qualitative data”, Advances in Nursing Science, 20, 1997, p. 66–74.

26 Heaton, 2008.

27 Louise Corti, Paul Thompson, “Secondary analysis of archive data”, in Clive Seale et al. (eds.), Qualitative Research Practice, London, 2012, p. 297–313.

28 Andreas Witzel, Irena Medjedovic, Susanne Kretzer, «Sekundäranalyse qualitativer Daten», HSR, 3, 2008, p. 10-32.

29 Denis Huschka, Claudia Oellers, “Warum qualitative Daten und ihre Sekundäranalyse wichtig sind”, in Denis Huschka et al. (eds.) Forschungsinfrastrukturen für die qualitative Sozialforschung, Berlin, 2013, p. 9–16.

30 Birgit Halbmayr, “Sekundäranalyse qualitativer Daten aus lebensgeschichtlichen Interviews”, BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung und Oral History, 2, 2008, p. 256–267; Irena Medjedovic, Qualitative Sekundäranalyse, Wiesbaden, 2014, p. 27–36.

31 Martyn Hammersley, “Qualitative Data Archiving: Some Reflections on its Prospects and Problems”, Sociology, 31, 1997, p. 131–142.

32 Henrietta O’Connor, John Goodwin, “Utilizing data from a lost sociological project: Experiences, insights, promises”, Qualitative Research, 10, 2010, p. 283–298.

33 Robert Burgess (ed.), Field Research: a Sourcebook and Field Manual, London, 1982.

34 Ken Plummer, Documents of Life: an Introduction to the Problems and Literature of a Humanistic Method, London, 1983; David Silverman, Doing Qualitative Research: a Practical Handbook, London 2000.

35 Corti, Thompson 2012.

36 Janet Heaton, Reworking Qualitative Data, London, 2004.

37 Witzel et al. 2008.

38 Louise Corti, Annette Day, Gill Backhouse, “Confidentiality and Informed Consent: Issues for Consideration in the Preservation of and Provision of Access to Qualitative Data Archives”, FQS, December 2000.

39 Fielding, Fielding 2000.

40 Fielding, Fielding 2000, p. 678.

41 Paul Thompson, The Edwardians: the Remaking of British Society, London, 1975.

42 Arthur Marwick, The Nature of History, London, 1970.

43 Corti, Thompson 2012.

44 Sarah Irwin, Mandy Winterton, Qualitative Secondary Analysis: A Guide to Practice, Timescapes Methods Guides Series, 19, 2012.

45 Louise Corti, Janet Foster, Paul Thompson, “Archiving qualitative research data, in Social Research Update”, 10, 1995; Louise Corti, “Progress and Problems of Preserving and Providing Access to Qualitative Data for Social Research - The International Picture of an Emerging Culture”, FQS, 1(3), 2000; Louise Corti, Paul Thompson, Annual Report of Qualidata to the ESRC, Essex 2000; Anne Fink, “The Role of the Researcher in Qualitative Research”, FQS, 1(3), 2000.

46 Corti, Thompson 2012.

47 BDSG 1990, § 4 and § 40.

48 Irwin, Winterton 2012.

49 Felicitas Söhner, Fangerau Heiner, Thomas Becker, “Soziologie als Impuls für die Psychiatrie-Enquete in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland? Ergebnisse aus Zeitzeugeninterviews und Dokumenten”, in Psychiatrische Praxis, 45, 2017, p. 188–196.

50 Maureen Haaker, Bethany Morgan-Brett, Developing research-led teaching: Two case studies of practical data reuse in the classroom, Thousand Oaks, 2017, p. 7.

51 Witzel et al. 2008; Wolff-Michael Roth, Hella von Unger, “Current perspectives on research ethics in qualitative research”, FQS, 19(3), 2018.

52 Sophie Rosenbohm, Tobias Gebel, Andrea Hense, Potenziale und Voraussetzungen für die Sekundäranalyse qualitativer Interviewdaten in der Organisationsforschung. SFB 882 Working Paper 43, 2015, p. 6.

53 Söhner et al. 2017.

54 Stefan Liebig, Gebel Tobias, Matthis Grenzer, Julia Kreusch, Heidi Schuster, Ralf Tscherwinka, Oliver Watteler, Andreas Witzel (eds.) Datenschutzrechtliche Anforderungen bei der Generierung und Archivierung qualitativer Interviewdaten. Working Paper Series 238, Berlin, 2014.

55 Liebig et al. 2014.

56 Liebig et al. 2014.

57 Rosemary Elliot, “Growing Up and Giving Up: smoking in Paul Thompson’s 100

Families”, Oral History 29, 2001, p. 73–84.

58 Advantages of secondary research are: it is inexpensive; data are usually easily accessible, immediately available, provide essential background and help to clarify or refine research problem—essential for literature review; secondary data sources provide methodological alternatives and alert the researcher to potential difficulties.The disadvantages include: secondary data—e.g. census data—are frequently outdated; data are potentially unreliable—the source is not always confirmed; the available data may not be fully applicable to your research questions. Last but not least is lack of availability—i.e. data are unavailable or very difficult to obtain.

59 Louise Corti, Melanie Wright, Consultants' Report to the Medical Research Council on the MRC Population Data Archiving and Access Project, Essex, 2002.

60 Louise Corti, Annette Day, Gill Backhouse, “Confidentiality and Informed Consent: Issues for consideration in the preservation of and provision of access to qualitative data archives”, in FQS 1(3)(2000); Susann Kluge, Diane Opitz, “Die Archivierung qualitativer Interviewdaten. Forschungsethik und Datenschutz als Barrieren für Sekundäranalysen?”, in Soziologie, 4(1999), p. 8–63; Parry, Mauthner 2004; Sally Thorne, “Secondary Analysis in Qualitative Research: Issues and Implications”, in Janice M. Morse (ed.), Critical Issues in Qualitative Research Methods, London, 1994, p. 263–279.

61 Denise Thomson et al., “Central Questions of Anonymization: A Case Study of Secondary Use of Qualitative Data”, FQS, 6(1), 2005.

62 Thomson et al. 2005, Abs. 1.

63 Sarah Yardley, Kate Watts, Jennifer Pearson, Jane Richardson, “Ethical issues in the reuse of qualitative data: Perspectives from literature, practice, and participants”, Qualitative Health Research, 24, 2014, p. 105.

64 Felicitas Söhner, “Forschungsethische Anforderungen und Standards bei der Archivierung von Zeitzeugendokumenten”, in VDA (ed.), RECHTsicher – Archive und ihr rechtlicher Rahmen, Fulda, 2020.

65 Qualidata, Legal and Ethical Issues in Interviewing, Qualidata Website, Essex, 1998; ESRC, ESRC Datasets Policy, Swindon, 2002; Oral History Society, Oral History Society Ethical Guidelines, London, 2002.

66 Corti et al. 2000; Kluge, Opitz 1999; Irena Medjedović, Andreas Witzel, Wiederverwendung qualitativer sozialwissenschaftlicher Daten, Wiesbaden, 2008.

67 Yardley et al. 2014, p. 105.

68 Thomson et al. 2005

69 Sandra J Cobban, Eunice M Edgington, Janice FL Pimlott, An ethical perspective on research using shared data, Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene, 42, 2008, p. 233–238.

70 Felicitas Söhner, Matthis Krischel, “Reproduktive Gesundheit und humangenetische Beratung im Dialog mit der Öffentlichkeit, 1969–1996”, VIRUS - Beiträge zur Sozialgeschichte der Medizin, 18, 2019, p. 265–284.

71 Corti et al. 2000.

72 Jane Richardson, Barry Godfrey, “Towards ethical practice in the use of archived transcripted interviews”, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 6, 2003, p. 347–355

73 Witzel et al. 2008.

74 Richardson, Godfrey 2003; Parry, Mauthner 2004.

75 Immaculada de Melo-Martin, Anita Ho, “Beyond informed consent: The therapeutic misconception and trust”, Journal of medical ethics, 34(3), 2008, p. 202–205.

76 Thomas Schlingmann, “Für ein neues Verhältnis von Wissenschaft, Praxis und Betroffenen”, in Zeitschrift für Sexualforschung, 28(04), 2016, p. 349–362.

77 Peter Jackson, Graham Smith, Sarah Olive, Families Remembering Food: Reusing Secondary Data, University of Sheffield, 2008, p. 17.

78 Richardson, Godfrey 2003.

79 Witzel et al. 2008.

80 Val Gillies, “Secondary analysis in investigating family change: exploring substantive and conceptual questions”, in Rosalind Edwards, Research in Families and Communities. Social and Generational Change, London, 2008, p. 90.

81 Fielding, Fielding 2000, p. 678.

82 Jackson et al. 2008, p. 12.

83 101 Söhner 2020; Felicitas Söhner, Thorsten Halling, Thomas Becker, Heiner Fangerau, “Auf dem Weg zur Reform: Ein netzwerkanalytischer Blick auf die Akteure im Vorfeld der ‚Psychiatrie-Enquete‘ von 1971”, Sudhoffs Archiv, 2, 2018, p. 172–210.

84 Wendy Hollaway, Tony Jefferson, Doing Qualitative Research Differently, London, 2000.

85 Bornat 2003, p. 51.

86 Tom Wengraf, Prue Chamberlayne, Interviewing for life-histories, lived situations and personal experience: The Biographic-Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM) on its own and as part of a multi-method full spectrum psycho-social methodology. London, 2006.

87 Sharon Macdonald, Roger Silverstone, “Science on Display: the Representation of Scientific Controversy in Museum Exhibitions”, Public Understanding of Science, 1, 1992, p. 68–87.

88 Robert Stradling, M. Noctor, B. Baines, Teaching Controversial Issues, London, 1984.

89 Hollaway, Jefferson 2000, p. 91.

90 Bornat 2003, p. 53.

91 Parry, Mauthner 2004, p. 141.

92 Mason 2007, 3.2.

93 Edmund King, Maya Parmar, Shafquat Towheed, «Reusing historical questionnaire data and using new commissioned oral history interviews as evidence in the history of reading», Participations, Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 16 (1), 2019, p. 538.

94 John Comaroff, Jean Comaroff. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination. Oxford, 1992, p. 34.

95 Niamh Moore, “(Re)Using Qualitative Data?”, Sociological Research Online, 12(3), 2007.

96 Jackson et al. 2008, p. 3.

97 Jackson et al. 2008, p. 18.

98 Meg Wiggins, Looking back on becoming a mother: Longitudinal perspectives on maternity care and the transition to motherhood, Colchester, 2015.

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102 Witzel et al. 2008.

103 Unger 2018.

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Felicitas Söhner, « Ethical Issues in Archiving and Reusing Interviewees’ Documents »Bulletin de l'AFAS, 48 | 2022, 104-129.

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Felicitas Söhner, « Ethical Issues in Archiving and Reusing Interviewees’ Documents »Bulletin de l'AFAS [En ligne], 48 | 2022, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2022, consulté le 19 mai 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/afas/7486 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/afas.7486

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Felicitas Söhner

Docteure en histoire. Depuis 2016, elle a entamé une collaboration scientifique avec l’Institut d’histoire, de théorie et d’éthique de la médecine à l’université Heinrich-Heine de Düsseldorf (Allemagne). Ses domaines de recherche principaux sont l’histoire orale, la culture européenne de la mémoire, l’histoire de la médecine et l’histoire sociale des xxe et xxie siècles.

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