Deposit Data

QDR welcomes deposits of digital data generated through qualitative and multi-method research in the social sciences, health sciences, applied sciences, and humanities. Research data are valuable resources: they can be drawn on for secondary analysis, employed to enhance research transparency, and used for pedagogical purposes. Sharing qualitative data helps to demonstrate the rigor and power of qualitative research.

See our brochure “Sharing Data at QDR” for an overview of depositing data and the services offered by QDR.

Deposit Process

Depositing data with QDR is straightforward. We encourage you to begin the process of depositing data early in the course of your research, as the earlier we know of your interest in sharing your data, the better we are able to assist you with preparing your data for deposit. You can find a detailed description of the steps to initiate a data project, make initial and final deposits, and place any access restrictions that you may wish to place on your data here.

QDR personnel are available to assist and advise you throughout the data deposit process. The QDR web site also includes guidance and resources to help you think through data-related challenges such as protecting human participants, respecting copyright, and others.

Types of Data Projects

Data projects include data that were collected and/or produced through a particular qualitative or multi-method research project, as well as documentation describing the data and the processes used to collect and/or produce them. QDR accepts data projects of various types including “Thematic Data Projects,” which are often useful for secondary analysis, “Supplemental Data Projects,” which accompany an article or book (e.g., ATI Data Supplements), and “Pedagogical Data Projects,” which can be useful for teaching purposes. Data projects may be of more than one type. You can find out more about these different types of data projects here.

Qualitative Data: Types and Formats

Qualitative data may be of many different types, including text, images, audio, video, geospatial, tabular, and CAQDAS. QDR welcomes them all! You can find an extensive (though not exhaustive) list of the different forms qualitative data can take here. In addition, this page offers information on the recommended formats in which to create, store, and deposit your data.

Deposit Fees

In July 2018, QDR began transitioning to a model in which depositors bear some of the costs of curation and preservation. Curation is an umbrella term used to describe a set of activities: managing, maintaining, validating, and adding value to research data over the long term and carefully preserving them for re-use. Curation increases the value and quality of data as a research product. Given the characteristics of qualitative research data, and the practical, ethical, and legal challenges that sharing such data sometimes poses, even data that have been carefully managed by the scholar who generated them need to be curated by experts in order to be made as accessible as possible to other scholars. QDR’s staff are familiar with and alert to the special challenges posed by sensitive data, and help depositors to make decisions on how to share their data ethically and legally. You can learn about QDR’s curation and preservation services here.

If you initiate a data deposit with QDR after August 1, 2018, you may be charged a deposit fee. You are encouraged to email QDR to see if you are eligible for a deposit-fee waiver or discount. Below we outline some exceptions to deposit fees, and the process for requesting deposit-fee assistance (i.e., a fee waiver or discount).

If you are currently affiliated with (i.e., are a faculty member, student, or research staff at) an entity that is an institutional member of QDR, individual deposit fees are automatically waived through June 30, 2019 (with important qualifications outlined on QDR’s Institutional Membership page). Beginning on July 1, 2019, individual deposit fees may be waived, depending upon how many other scholars affiliated with your institution have already deposited data with QDR during the relevant institutional membership period. If you are not sure whether your home institution is a member of QDR, please email before initiating a data deposit. If it is not, you may want to contact the unit at your institution responsible for data services (typically located in the library) and ask them to consider becoming a member. More information on institutional membership can be found here.

If your home institution is not an institutional member of QDR and you need assistance with the deposit fee, we may be able to waive or discount your deposit fee. Researchers at non-R1 US institutions, researchers at institutions in lower-income countries, and graduate students at any institution are excellent candidates for deposit fee waivers and discounts. We are more likely to be able to assist if: (a) your research is not supported by any type of funding (for example, internal funding from your home institution or external funding from NSF) or (b) your research is supported but that funding does not include money for data curation or preservation and you submitted your funding application prior to July 2018.

You will be able to request deposit-fee assistance after your initial consultation with QDR curators. You can learn more about the deposit process here. Deposit-fee assistance will only be offered for a limited time, is not guaranteed, and is dependent on QDR having sufficient funds available. QDR strongly recommends that scholars include data curation / preservation costs in their proposal budgets when applying for research funding.

Individual deposit fees vary depending on the size and complexity of the data project you wish to deposit with QDR. Typical deposit fees range from $300 to $600. QDR calculates deposit fee estimates by assessing your Initial Deposit and through the associated consultation with QDR staff (the deposit process is discussed here). We are happy to discuss your data project, the estimated deposit fee, and any available fee waivers and discounts at your convenience. We are also eager to connect with scholars who are planning on submitting funding proposals to help them to estimate what data curation / preservation costs they should include in their proposal budget.

Please note that deposit fees are intended to help cover the cost of curating and preserving your data deposit, and are charged commensurate with QDR’s performance of those services. If it ultimately proves impossible to publish your data project (for instance, due to unanticipated human participants concerns or because you withdraw the data), a refund may be offered depending in part upon how much curation your data project has undergone, and whether QDR will be preserving it for the long term.