Journal Articles

The article describes the secondary analysis of a number of diverse qualitative data sets, which were produced over time in a longer project. It not only discusses the use of secondary data but also illustrates the analysis of diverse qualitative data. It also describes experiences resulting bringing together the primary researchers who collected and analyzed the data first hand. It takes a focus on comparing and linking a diversity of data coming from several methodological approaches.

Irwin, S., Bornat, J., and Winterton, M. (2012) ‘Timescapes secondary analysis: comparison, context and working across data sets,’ Qualitative Research, 12(1), 66–80.

Critical Thinking Questions:

  • How far does this article illustrate the challenges and pitfalls of secondary qualitative analysis?
  • What lessons can you draw from the presentation for secondary analysis?
  • How far can you transfer the discussions in this article to your own use of secondary data?


This article describes the use of quantitative secondary data (assessments in nursing homes) based on a number of scales for documenting more than 200 variables addressing issues such as communication, activity level, cognitive performances and indices such as the Activity of Daily Living Index. These data were analyzed for testing several hypotheses derived from the literature and for finding evidence for factors influencing sleep problems and well-being of nursing home residents.

Garms-Homolová, V., Flick, U. and Röhnsch, G. (2010) ‘Sleep Disorders and Activities in Long Term Care Facilities: A Vicious Cycle?’, Journal of Health Psychology, 15 (5), 744–54. DOI: 10.1177/1359105310368185

Critical Thinking Questions:

  • Does the article make transparent, why these data and measures were used?
  • Does it present and discuss limits of the study and practical implications of the findings?


This article discusses the analysis of qualitative (focus group) data on two levels: To focus not only on what was said, but also how and when it was said. It suggests that interaction, conversation and discourse analysis approaches to focus groups data are important for understanding the content, meaning and dynamics of focus group data.

Halkier, B. (2010) ‘Focus Groups as Social Enactments: Integrating Interaction and Content in the Analysis of Focus Group Data’, Qualitative Research, 10(1), 71–89. DOI: 10.1177/1468794109348683

Critical Thinking Questions:

  • Is the relation of content and interaction that is made up in this article adequate?
  • Does it overemphasise the methodological focus on the various approaches to the data over the contents and substantial insights that can be drawn from the data?