In this chapter, I explore traditional notions of secondary data in qualitative research and consider the ways in which these are continually being reimagined in the digital age. I situate this discussion in respect to data typologies and, more reflexively, in relation to our need as researchers to make data real. I consider contemporary understandings of reuse in relation to secondary data, focusing particularly on qualitative interview data. Recognizing those who are already forging a path, I then suggest how we might move beyond notions of reuse and reimagine secondary data in the digital age. To illustrate these points, I highlight relevant studies drawing data from a range of online spaces, and finally summarize key considerations and challenges.
I am indebted to methodological conversations and collaborations with Dr Helen C Williams, Dr Maggie Miller (both Swansea University), Dr Rebecca Whiting (Birkbeck, UoL), Professor Gillian Symon (RHUL) and Professor Christine Hine (Surrey), for prompting consideration of many of the ideas explored within this chapter.
Pritchard, K. (2023), "Reimagining Secondary Data in a Digital Age", Hill, A.D., McKenny, A.F., O'Kane, P. and Paroutis, S. (Ed.) Methods to Improve Our Field (Research Methodology in Strategy and Management, Vol. 14), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 5-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-838720220000014002
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