Welcome to the ‘Working across qualitative longitudinal studies’ collection of guest blog posts contributed by experts in the field. We created this collection of blog posts for two reasons. First, we were conscious that accounts of data management and analysis in qualitative research are often sanitised by the time they reach academic journals. We were, therefore, keen to document and share the trials and tribulations and decision-making processes underlying such analysis, thereby contributing to debates around good practice. We also wanted to kick-start conversations about analysis/secondary analysis across large scale and/or multiple qualitative data sets. The guest posts range from early career researchers through to international experts, and address topics as varied as the ethics of using big qual data, using secondary qualitative data and computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software. They profile the diversity of QLR and big qual that is taking place internationally.
The blog collection gathers the experiences and perspectives of those conducting analysis across large-scale, multiple and/or qualitative longitudinal data sets, particularly the re-use of archived material. The possibilities comprise multiple permutations from bringing together two or more archived data sets through to combining archived material with a researcher’s own primary data. Some of the blogs focus on secondary analysis and the re-use of archived data sets, including QLR material, whilst others are concerned with handling large volumes of qualitative data. In both cases the approach undertaken involves, to some degree, engagement with an amount of data that otherwise would be challenging for a single researcher or small team to handle with qualitative integrity