Resources for Research Interviewing

BACKGROUND


Textbooks, Guidebooks, and Handbooks
 

  • The Ethnographic Interview by James P. Spradley “Spradley wrote this book for the professional and student who have never done ethnographic fieldwork (p. 231) and for the professional ethnographer who is interested in adapting the author’s procedures (p. iv). Part 1 outlines in 3 chapters Spradley’s version of ethnographic research, and it provides the background for Part 2 which consists of 12 guided steps (chapters) ranging from locating and interviewing an informant to writing an ethnography. Most of the examples come from the author’s own fieldwork among U.S. subcultures . . . Steps 6 and 8 explain lucidly how to construct a domain and a taxonomic analysis” (excerpted from book review by James D. Sexton, 1980).
     
  • Fundamentals of Qualitative Research by Johnny Saldana (Series edited by Patricia Leavy) Provides a soup-to-nuts overview of the qualitative data collection process, including interviewing, participant observation, and other methods.
     
  • InterViews by Steinar Kvale Interviewing is an essential tool in qualitative research and this introduction to interviewing outlines both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical aspects of the process. After examining the role of the interview in the research process, Steinar Kvale considers some of the key philosophical issues relating to interviewing: the interview as conversation, hermeneutics, phenomenology, concerns about ethics as well as validity, and postmodernism. Having established this framework, the author then analyzes the seven stages of the interview process - from designing a study to writing it up.
     
  • Practical Evaluation by Michael Quinn Patton Surveys different interviewing strategies, from, a) informal/conversational, to b) interview guide approach, to c) standardized and open-ended, to d) closed/quantitative. Also discusses strategies for wording questions that are open-ended, clear, sensitive, and neutral, while supporting the speaker. Provides suggestions for probing and maintaining control of the interview process, as well as suggestions for recording and transcription.
     
  • The SAGE Handbook of Interview Research by Amir B. Marvasti (Editor); James A. Holstein (Editor); Jaber F. Gubrium (Editor); Karyn D. McKinney (Editor) The new edition of this landmark volume emphasizes the dynamic, interactional, and reflexive dimensions of the research interview. Contributors highlight the myriad dimensions of complexity that are emerging as researchers increasingly frame the interview as a communicative opportunity as much as a data-gathering format. The book begins with the history and conceptual transformations of the interview, which is followed by chapters that discuss the main components of interview practice. Taken together, the contributions to The SAGE Handbook of Interview Research: The Complexity of the Craft encourage readers simultaneously to learn the frameworks and technologies of interviewing and to reflect on the epistemological foundations of the interview craft.
     
  • The SAGE Handbook of Online Research Methods by Nigel G. Fielding, Raymond M. Lee and Grant Blank (Editors)
    Bringing together the leading names in both qualitative and quantitative online research, this new edition is organised into nine sections: 1. Online Research Methods 2. Designing Online Research 3. Online Data Capture and Data Collection 4. The Online Survey 5. Digital Quantitative Analysis 6. Digital Text Analysis 7. Virtual Ethnography 8. Online Secondary Analysis: Resources and Methods 9. The Future of Online Social Research

ONLINE RESOURCES, COMMUNITIES, AND DATABASES
 

  • International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry
    Annual conference hosted by the International Center for Qualitative Inquiry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which aims to facilitate the development of qualitative research methods across a wide variety of academic disciplines, among other initiatives.
     
  • METHODSPACE
    ​​​​​​​​An online home of the research methods community, where practicing researchers share how to make research easier.
     
  • SAGE researchmethods
    ​​​​​​​Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. A "methods map" facilitates finding content on methods.

The decision to conduct interviews, and the type of interviewing to use, should flow from, or align with, the methodological paradigm chosen for your study, whether that paradigm is interpretivist, critical, positivist, or participative in nature (or a combination of these).

Types of Interviews


Formats



Structured:

Semi-Structured:

Unstructured:

Genres and Uses


Focus Groups:

In-Depth (typically One-on-One):

Folklore Research and Oral Histories:


In addition to the following resource, see the Oral History page of this guide for helpful resources on Oral History interviewing.

American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Folklife and Fieldwork: A Layman’s Introduction to Field Techniques
Interviews gathered for purposes of folklore research are similar to standard social science interviews in some ways, but also have a good deal in common with oral history approaches to interviewing. The focus in a folklore research interview is on documenting and trying to understand the interviewee's way of life relative to a culture or subculture you are studying. This guide includes helpful advice and tips for conducting fieldwork in folklore, such as tips for planning, conducting, recording, and archiving interviews.


Surveys:


User Experience (UX) and Marketing:
  • See the "UX & Market Research Interviews" tab on this guide, above. May include Focus Groups, above.


Screening for Research Site Selection:
  • Research interviews are used not only to furnish research data for theoretical analysis in the social sciences, but also to plan other kinds of studies. For example, interviews may allow researchers to screen appropriate research sites to conduct empirical studies (such as randomized controlled trials) in a variety of fields, from medicine to law. In contrast to interviews conducted in the course of social research, such interviews do not typically serve as the data for final analysis and publication.

ENGAGING PARTICIPANTS


RESEARCH ETHICS
 

The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research Ethics by Ron Iphofen (Editor); Martin Tolich (Editor) This handbook is a much-needed and in-depth review of the distinctive set of ethical considerations which accompanies qualitative research. This is particularly crucial given the emergent, dynamic and interactional nature of most qualitative research, which too often allows little time for reflection on the important ethical responsibilities and obligations. Contributions from leading international researchers have been carefully organized into six key thematic sections: Part One: Thick Descriptions Of Qualitative Research Ethics; Part Two: Qualitative Research Ethics By Technique; Part Three: Ethics As Politics; Part Four: Qualitative Research Ethics With Vulnerable Groups; Part Five: Relational Research Ethics; Part Six: Researching Digitally. This Handbook is a one-stop resource on qualitative research ethics across the social sciences that draws on the lessons learned and the successful methods for surmounting problems - the tried and true, and the new.



RESEARCH COMPLIANCE AND PRIVACY LAWS


Research Compliance Program for FAS/SEAS at Harvard: The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), including the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) have established a shared Research Compliance Program (RCP). An area of common concern for interview studies is international projects and collaboration. RCP is a resource to provide guidance on which international activities may be impacted by US sanctions on countries, individuals, or entities and whether licenses or other disclosure are required to ship or otherwise share items, technology, or data with foreign collaborators.

  • Harvard Global Support Services (GSS) is for students, faculty, staff, and researchers who are studying, researching, or working abroad. Their services span safety and security, health, culture, outbound immigration, employment, financial and legal matters, and research center operations. These include travel briefings and registration, emergency response, guidance on international projects, and managing in-country operations.

Generative AI: Harvard-affiliated researchers should not enter data classified as confidential (Level 2 and above), including non-public research data, into publicly-available generative AI tools, in accordance with the University’s Information Security Policy. Information shared with generative AI tools using default settings is not private and could expose proprietary or sensitive information to unauthorized parties.

Privacy Laws: Be mindful of any potential privacy laws that may apply wherever you conduct your interviews. The General Data Protection Regulation is a high-profile example (see below):

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
    This Regulation lays down rules relating to the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and rules relating to the free movement of personal data. It protects fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons and in particular their right to the protection of personal data. The free movement of personal data within the Union shall be neither restricted nor prohibited for reasons connected with the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data. For a nice summary of what the GDPR requires, check out the GDPR "crash course" here.


SEEKING CONSENT
 

If you would like to see examples of consent forms, ask your local IRB, or take a look at these resources:



POPULATION SAMPLING


If you wish to assemble resources to aid in sampling, such as the USPS Delivery Sequence File, telephone books, or directories of organizations and listservs, please contact our data librarian or write to govdocs@fas.harvard.edu.

  • Research Randomizer 
    A free web-based service that permits instant random sampling and random assignment. It also contains an interactive tutorial perfect for students taking courses in research methods.
     
  • Practical Tools for Designing and Weighting Survey Samples by Richard Valliant; Jill A. Dever; Frauke Kreuter Survey sampling is fundamentally an applied field. The goal in this book is to put an array of tools at the fingertips of practitioners by explaining approaches long used by survey statisticians, illustrating how existing software can be used to solve survey problems, and developing some specialized software where needed. This book serves at least three audiences: (1) Students seeking a more in-depth understanding of applied sampling either through a second semester-long course or by way of a supplementary reference; (2) Survey statisticians searching for practical guidance on how to apply concepts learned in theoretical or applied sampling courses; and (3) Social scientists and other survey practitioners who desire insight into the statistical thinking and steps taken to design, select, and weight random survey samples. Several survey data sets are used to illustrate how to design samples, to make estimates from complex surveys for use in optimizing the sample allocation, and to calculate weights. Realistic survey projects are used to demonstrate the challenges and provide a context for the solutions. The book covers several topics that either are not included or are dealt with in a limited way in other texts. These areas include: sample size computations for multistage designs; power calculations related to surveys; mathematical programming for sample allocation in a multi-criteria optimization setting; nuts and bolts of area probability sampling; multiphase designs; quality control of survey operations; and statistical software for survey sampling and estimation. An associated R package, PracTools, contains a number of specialized functions for sample size and other calculations. The data sets used in the book are also available in PracTools, so that the reader may replicate the examples or perform further analyses.
     
  • Sampling: Design and Analysis by Sharon L. Lohr Provides a modern introduction to the field of sampling. With a multitude of applications from a variety of disciplines, the book concentrates on the statistical aspects of taking and analyzing a sample. Overall, the book gives guidance on how to tell when a sample is valid or not, and how to design and analyze many different forms of sample surveys.
     
  • Sampling Techniques by William G. Cochran Clearly demonstrates a wide range of sampling methods now in use by governments, in business, market and operations research, social science, medicine, public health, agriculture, and accounting. Gives proofs of all the theoretical results used in modern sampling practice. New topics in this edition include the approximate methods developed for the problem of attaching standard errors or confidence limits to nonlinear estimates made from the results of surveys with complex plans.
     
  • "Understanding the Process of Qualitative Data Collection" in Chapter 13 (pp. 103–1162) of 30 Essential Skills for the Qualitative Researcher by John W. Creswell Provides practical "how-to" information for beginning researchers in the social, behavioral, and health sciences with many applied examples from research design, qualitative inquiry, and mixed methods.The skills presented in this book are crucial for a new qualitative researcher starting a qualitative project.
     
  • Survey Methodology by Robert M. Groves; Floyd J. Fowler; Mick P. Couper; James M. Lepkowski; Eleanor Singer; Roger Tourangeau; Floyd J. Fowler coverage includes sampling frame evaluation, sample design, development of questionnaires, evaluation of questions, alternative modes of data collection, interviewing, nonresponse, post-collection processing of survey data, and practices for maintaining scientific integrity.

The way a qualitative researcher constructs and approaches interview questions should flow from, or align with, the methodological paradigm chosen for the study, whether that paradigm is interpretivist, critical, positivist, or participative in nature (or a combination of these).

Interview Questions


Constructing Your Questions


Helpful Texts:

Let Theory Guide You:

The quality of your questions depends on how you situate them within a wider body of knowledge. Consider the following advice:

A good literature review has many obvious virtues. It enables the investigator to define problems and assess data. It provides the concepts on which percepts depend. But the literature review has a special importance for the qualitative researcher. This consists of its ability to sharpen his or her capacity for surprise (Lazarsfeld, 1972b). The investigator who is well versed in the literature now has a set of expectations the data can defy. Counterexpectational data are conspicuous, readable, and highly provocative data. They signal the existence of unfulfilled theoretical assumptions, and these are, as Kuhn (1962) has noted, the very origins of intellectual innovation. A thorough review of the literature is, to this extent, a way to manufacture distance. It is a way to let the data of one's research project take issue with the theory of one's field.

McCracken, G. (1988), The Long Interview, Sage: Newbury Park, CA, p. 31

When drafting your interview questions, remember that everything follows from your central research question. Also, on the way to writing your "operationalized" interview questions, it's  helpful to draft broader, intermediate questions, couched in theory. Nota bene: While it is important to know the literature well before conducting your interview(s), be careful not to present yourself to your research participant(s) as "the expert," which would be presumptuous and could be intimidating. Rather, the purpose of your knowledge is to make you a better, keener listener.

If you'd like to supplement what you learned about relevant theories through your coursework and literature review, try these sources:

  • Annual Reviews 
    Review articles sum up the latest research in many fields, including social sciences, biomedicine, life sciences, and physical sciences. These are timely collections of critical reviews written by leading scientists.
     
  • HOLLIS - search for resources on theories in your field 
    Modify this example search by entering the name of your field in place of "your discipline," then hit search.
     
  • Oxford Bibliographies 
    Written and reviewed by academic experts, every article in this database is an authoritative guide to the current scholarship in a variety of fields, containing original commentary and annotations.
     
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) 
    Indexes dissertations and masters' theses from most North American graduate schools as well as some European universities. Provides full text for most indexed dissertations from 1990-present.
     
  • Very Short Introductions 
    Launched by Oxford University Press in 1995, Very Short Introductions offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subjects from Climate to Consciousness, Game Theory to Ancient Warfare, Privacy to Islamic History, Economics to Literary Theory.

The way a qualitative researcher constructs and approaches interview questions should flow from, or align with, the methodological paradigm chosen for the study, whether that paradigm is interpretivist, critical, positivist, or participative in nature (or a combination of these).

CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS


RECORDING


Equipment and Software:
 
  • Tech Loan:
    • Lamont Library loans microphones and podcast starter kits, which will allow you to capture audio (and you may record with software, such as Garage Band). 
    • Cabot Library loans digital recording devices, as well as USB microphones.

If you prefer to use your own device, you may purchase a small handheld audio recorder, or use your cell phone.

Need Help?


TIPS FOR CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS


Quick Handout:
 

Remote Interviews:
 

Seeking Consent:

If you would like to see examples of consent forms, ask your local IRB, or take a look at these resources:


Books and Articles:
 

Videos:
 

The way a qualitative researcher transcribes interviews should flow from, or align with, the methodological paradigm chosen for the study, whether that paradigm is interpretivist, critical, positivist, or participative in nature (or a combination of these).

TRANSCRIPTION


Before embarking on a transcription project, it's worthwhile to invest in the time and effort necessary to capture good audio, which will make the transcription process much easier. If you haven't already done so, check out the audio capture guidelines from Harvard Library's Virtual Media Lab, or contact a media staff member for customized recommendations. First and foremost, be mindful of common pitfalls by watching this short video that identifies the most common errors to avoid!


SOFTWARE:
 

  • Otter provides a new way to capture, store, search and share voice conversations, lectures, presentations, meetings, and interviews. The startup is based in Silicon Valley with a team of experienced Ph.Ds and engineers from Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Nuance (à la Dragon). Free accounts available. This is the software that Zoom uses to generate automated transcripts, so if you have access to a Zoom subscription, you have access to Otter transcriptions with it (applicable in several languages). As with any automated approach, be prepared to correct any errors after the fact, by hand.
     
  • Panopto is available to Harvard affiliates and generates ASR (automated speech recognition) captions. You may upload compatible audio files into it. As with any automatically generated transcription, you will need to make manual revisions. ASR captioning is available in several languages.
     
  • GoTranscript provides cost-effective human-generated transcriptions.
     
  • pyTranscriber is an app for generating automatic transcription and/or subtitles for audio and video files. It uses the Google Cloud Speech-to-Text service, has a friendly graphical user interface, and is purported to work nicely with Chinese. 
     
  • REV.Com allows you to record and transcribe any calls on the iPhone, both outgoing and incoming. It may be useful for recording phone interviews. Rev lets you choose whether you want an AI- or human-generated transcription, with a fast turnaround.
     
  • Scribie Audio/Video Transcription provides automated or manual transcriptions for a small fee. As with any transcription service, some revisions will be necessary after the fact, particularly for its automated transcripts.
     
  • Sonix automatically transcribes, translates, and helps to organize audio and video files in over 40 languages. It's fast and affordable, with good accuracy. The free trial includes 30 minutes of free transcription.
     
  • TranscriptionWing uses a human touch process to clean up machine-generated transcripts so that the content will far more accurately reflect your audio recording. 

EQUIPMENT:
 

  • Transcription pedals are in circulation and available to borrow from the Circulation desk at Lamont, or use at Lamont Library's Media Lab on level B. For hand-transcribing your interviews, they work in conjunction with software such as Express Scribe, which is loaded on Media Lab computers, or you may download for free on your own machine (Mac or PC versions; scroll down the downloads page for the latter). The pedals are plug-and-play USB, allow a wide range of playback speeds, and have 3 programmable buttons, which are typically set to rewind/play/fast-forward. Instructions are included in the bag that covers installation and set-up of the software, and basic use of the pedals.

NEED HELP?
 


Helpful Texts:
 

QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS


SOFTWARE
 


CODING AND THEMEING YOUR DATA

Data analysis methods should flow from, or align with, the methodological paradigm chosen for your study, whether that paradigm is interpretivist, critical, positivist, or participative in nature (or a combination of these). Some established methods include Content Analysis, Critical Analysis, Discourse Analysis, Gestalt Analysis, Grounded Theory Analysis, Interpretive Analysis, Narrative Analysis, Normative Analysis, Phenomenological Analysis, Rhetorical Analysis, and Semiotic Analysis, among others. The following resources should help you navigate your methodological options and put into practice methods for coding, themeing, interpreting, and presenting your data.


TESTING OR GENERATING THEORIES

The quality of your data analysis depends on how you situate what you learn within a wider body of knowledge. Consider the following advice:

A good literature review has many obvious virtues. It enables the investigator to define problems and assess data. It provides the concepts on which percepts depend. But the literature review has a special importance for the qualitative researcher. This consists of its ability to sharpen his or her capacity for surprise (Lazarsfeld, 1972b). The investigator who is well versed in the literature now has a set of expectations the data can defy. Counterexpectational data are conspicuous, readable, and highly provocative data. They signal the existence of unfulfilled theoretical assumptions, and these are, as Kuhn (1962) has noted, the very origins of intellectual innovation. A thorough review of the literature is, to this extent, a way to manufacture distance. It is a way to let the data of one's research project take issue with the theory of one's field.

McCracken, G. (1988), The Long Interview, Sage: Newbury Park, CA, p. 31

Once you have coalesced around a theory, realize that a theory should reveal rather than color your discoveries. Allow your data to guide you to what's most suitable. Grounded theory researchers may develop their own theory where current theories fail to provide insight. This guide on Theoretical Models from Alfaisal University Library provides a helpful overview on using theory.

If you'd like to supplement what you learned about relevant theories through your coursework and literature review, try these sources:

  • Annual Reviews 
    Review articles sum up the latest research in many fields, including social sciences, biomedicine, life sciences, and physical sciences. These are timely collections of critical reviews written by leading scientists.
     
  • HOLLIS - search for resources on theories in your field 
    Modify this example search by entering the name of your field in place of "your discipline," then hit search.
     
  • Oxford Bibliographies 
    Written and reviewed by academic experts, every article in this database is an authoritative guide to the current scholarship in a variety of fields, containing original commentary and annotations.
     
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) 
    Indexes dissertations and masters' theses from most North American graduate schools as well as some European universities. Provides full text for most indexed dissertations from 1990-present.
     
  • Very Short Introductions 
    Launched by Oxford University Press in 1995, Very Short Introductions offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subjects from Climate to Consciousness, Game Theory to Ancient Warfare, Privacy to Islamic History, Economics to Literary Theory.

MANAGING & FINDING INTERVIEW DATA


Managing Your Elicited Interview Data


Help with Securing, Storing, and Sharing Data:
 
  • Research Data Management @ Harvard
    A reference guide with information and resources to help you manage your research data. See also: Harvard Research Data Security Policy, on the Harvard University Research Data Management website.
     
  • Data Security Levels at Harvard - Research Data Examples
    This resource provided by Harvard Data Security helps you determine what level of access is appropriate for your data. Determine whether it should be made available for public use, limited to the Harvard community, or be protected as either "confidential and sensitive," "high risk," or "extremely sensitive." See also: Harvard Data Classification Table
     
  • Harvard's Best Practices for Protecting Privacy and Harvard Information Security Collaboration Tools Matrix
    Follow the nuts-and-bolts advice for privacy best practices at Harvard. The latter resource reveals the level of security that can be relied upon for a large number of technological tools and platforms used at Harvard to conduct business, such as email, Slack, Accellion Kiteworks, OneDrive/SharePoint, etc.
     
  • Generative AI
    Harvard-affiliated researchers should not enter data classified as confidential (Level 2 and above), including non-public research data, into publicly-available generative AI tools, in accordance with the University’s Information Security Policy. Information shared with generative AI tools using default settings is not private and could expose proprietary or sensitive information to unauthorized parties.
     
  • Harvard Information Security Quick Reference Guide
    Storage guidelines, based on the data's security classification level (according to its IRB classification) is displayed on page 2, under "handling."
     
  • Email Encryption
    Harvard Microsoft 365 users can now send encrypted messages and files directly from the Outlook web or desktop apps. Encrypting an email adds an extra layer of security to the message and its attachments (up to 150MB), and means only the intended recipient (and their inbox delegates with full access) can view it. Message encryption in Outlook is approved for sending high risk (level 4) data and below.
     
  • Data Management For Researchers: Organize, Maintain and Share Your Data for Research Success by Kristin Briney. A comprehensive guide for scientific researchers providing everything they need to know about data management and how to organize, document, use and reuse their data.
     
  • Open Science Framework (OSF)
    An open-source project management tool that makes it easy to collaborate within and beyond Harvard throughout a project's lifecycle. With OSF you can manage, store, and share documents, datasets, and other information with your research team. You can also publish your work to share it with a wider audience.
     
  • QDS Qualitative Data Sharing Toolkit
    Provides tools and resources to help researchers share qualitative research data while protecting privacy and confidentiality. It offers guidance on preparing data for sharing through de-identification and access control. 
     
  • Repositories for Qualitative Data
    If you have cleared this intention with your IRB, secured consent from participants, and properly de-identified your data, consider sharing your interviews in one of the data repositories included in the link above. Depending on the nature of your research and the level of risk it may present to participants, sharing your interview data may not be appropriate. If there is any chance that sharing such data will be desirable, you will be much better off if you build this expectation into your plans from the beginning.
     
  • Guide for Sharing Qualitative Data at ICPSR
    The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has created this resource for investigators planning to share qualitative data at ICPSR. This guide provides an overview of elements and considerations for archiving qualitative data, identifies steps for investigators to follow during the research life cycle to ensure that others can share and reuse qualitative data, and provides information about exemplars of qualitative data
     
  • Research Compliance Program for FAS/SEAS at Harvard
    The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), including the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research (OVPR) have established a shared Research Compliance Program (RCP). An area of common concern for interview studies is international projects and collaboration. RCP is a resource to provide guidance on which international activities may be impacted by US sanctions on countries, individuals, or entities and whether licenses or other disclosure are required to ship or otherwise share items, technology, or data with foreign collaborators.

Finding Extant Interview Data


Finding Journalistic Interviews:
 
  • Academic Search Premier
    This all-purpose database is great for finding articles from magazines and newspapers. In the Advanced Search, it allows you to specify "Document Type": Interview.
     
  • Guide to Newspapers and Newspaper Indexes
    Use this guide created to Harvard Librarians to identify newspapers collections you'd like to search. To locate interviews, try adding the term "interview" to your search, or explore a database's search interface for options to limit your search to interviews. Nexis Uni and Factiva are the two main databases for current news. 
     
  • Listen Notes
    Search for podcast episodes at this podcast aggregator, and look for podcasts that include interviews. Make sure to vet the podcaster for accuracy and quality! (Listen Notes does not do much vetting.)
     
  • NPR and ProPublica are two sites that offer high-quality long-form reporting, including journalistic interviews, for free.

Finding Oral History and Social Research Interviews:
 
  • To find oral histories, see the Oral History page of this guide for helpful resources on Oral History interviewing.
     
  • Repositories for Qualitative Data
    It has not been a customary practice among qualitative researchers in the social sciences to share raw interview data, but some have made this data available in repositories, such as the ones listed on the page linked above. You may find published data from structured interview surveys (e.g., questionnaire-based computer-assisted telephone interview data), as well as some semi-structured and unstructured interviews.
     
  • If you are merely interested in studies interpreting data collected using interviews, rather than finding raw interview data, try databases like PsycInfoSociological Abstracts, or Anthropology Plus, among others. 

Finding Interviews in Archival Collections at Harvard Library:

In addition to the databases and search strategies mentioned under the "Finding Oral History and Social Research Interviews" category above, you may search for interviews and oral histories (whether in textual or audiovisual formats) held in archival collections at Harvard Library.

  • HOLLIS searches all documented collections at Harvard, whereas HOLLIS for Archival Discovery searches only those with finding aids. Although HOLLIS for Archival Discovery covers less material, you may find it easier to parse your search results, especially when you wish to view results at the item level (within collections). Try these approaches:
Search in HOLLIS:
 
  1. To retrieve items available online, do an Advanced Search for interview* OR "oral histor*" (in Subject), with Resource Type "Archives/Manuscripts," then refine your search by selecting "Online" under "Show Only" on the right of your initial result list. Revise the search above by adding your topic in the Keywords or Subject field (for example: African Americans) and resubmitting the search.
     
  2.  To enlarge your results set, you may also leave out the "Online" refinement; if you'd like to limit your search to a specific repository, try the technique of searching for Code: Library + Collection on the "Advanced Search" page.  

Search in HOLLIS for Archival Discovery:
 
  1. To retrieve items available online, search for interview* OR "oral histor*" limited to digital materials.
    Revise the search above by adding your topic (for example: artist*) in the second search box (if you don't see the box, click +).
     
  2. To preview results by collection, search for interview* OR "oral histor*" limited to collections. Revise the search above by adding your topic (for example: artist*) in the second search box (if you don't see the box, click +). Although this method does not allow you to isolate digitized content, you may find the refinement options on the right side of the screen (refine by repository, subject or names) helpful. Once your select a given collection, you may search within it (e.g., for your topic or the term interview).

UX & MARKET RESEARCH INTERVIEWS


UX at Harvard Library
 

  • User Experience and Market Research interviews can inform the design of tangible products and services through responsive, outcome-driven insights. The User Research Center at Harvard Library specializes in this kind of user-centered design, digital accessibility, and testing. They also offer guidance and resources to members of the Harvard Community who are interested in learning more about UX methods. Contact libraryux@harvard.edu or consult the URC website for more information.

Websites
 


Books
 


Videos
 

SLIDESHOWS


Instructional Presentations on Interview Skills
 

NIH-Funded Qualitative Research

NIH Data Management & Sharing Policy (DMSP)
This policy, effective January 25, 2023, applies to all research, funded or conducted in whole or in part by NIH, that results in the generation of scientific data, including NIH-funded qualitative research. Click here to see some examples of how the DMSP policy has been applied in qualitative research studies featured in the 2021 Qualitative Data Management Plan (DMP) Competition. As a resource for the community, NIH has developed a resource for developing informed consent language in research studies where data and/or biospecimens will be stored and shared for future use. It is important to note that the DMS Policy does NOT require that informed consent obtained from research participants must allow for broad sharing and the future use of data (either with or without identifiable private information). See the FAQ for more information.