QDR stores digital data generated and analyzed through qualitative and multi-method research. The repository’s holdings include different types of projects, and multiple types of qualitative data including (but not limited to) unpublished primary sources, published primary sources, primary sources cited in secondary sources, and secondary sources.

Data are stored in a variety of formats and media: alpha-numeric (e.g., word-processed text, databases, spreadsheets), audio (digital and non-digital), video, and photographic (digital and non-digital).

All QDR users can browse or search data using specific search terms to identify relevant QDR holdings. Browses and searches of QDR data return metadata for relevant projects and files.

Access to Data

Only users who have registered (i.e., have agreed to QDR’s General Terms and Conditions of Use) and logged in can view, explore on-line, and/or download data projects, individual data files, or attendant documentation (e.g., interview protocols or human subjects consent forms) published on QDR. 

In addition to the restrictions specified in the General Terms and Conditions of Use – which apply to all data deposited in and accessed from QDR – depositors may request special restrictions on the access to or use of some or all of their data.  Typically these special restrictions involve human participants or copyright concerns, and/or require registered users who wish to access the restricted data to demonstrate a bona fide scholarly purpose for their use.

Download Process

The usual procedure for accessing data from QDR is as follows:

  • A user searches/browses QDR data projects and data files.

  • If a user would like to view and/or download a data project or data file, she must log in (note that users must be registered with QDR in order to log in).

  • If the registered user is allowed access to the data (subject to any special restrictions as described above), she will be prompted to execute a Standard Download Agreement containing a subset of the terms and conditions included in the General Terms and Conditions of Use to which she agreed upon registration; if she previously completed a Standard Download Agreement, she will simply need to acknowledge a reminder that she has done so.

  • If one or more of the data files the registered user wishes to view/download have access controls on them (stipulated by the depositor), the registered user is presented with a screen outlining those access controls and must acknowledge them. If the depositor elected “Deposit-Approved Access,” the registered user must complete and submit a Special Download Agreement

  • QDR staff review the prospective downloader’s agreement(s) and, if warranted, the depositor does so as well.  Once all approvals have been given, QDR advises the downloader that permission has been granted to download the data, and frees the data for download.

  • Some data projects (e.g., restricted off-line access and embargoed data) are not available for immediate download, and need to be ordered in advance.

Use of Data Published by QDR

QDR allows tracking of downloads and use of the data it holds. As QDR’s General Terms and Conditions of Use indicate, data downloaded from QDR and reused must be properly cited using a standard format provided by QDR; this ensures that depositors receive credit for the data they have archived and shared. The proper citation for each data project QDR publishes can be found on the landing page of the data project. Scholars who use data held in QDR—for example in a paper, thesis or dissertation, publication, blog, or presentation—are required to advise QDR that they have done so, and to provide a bibliographic citation to that publication.  This allows QDR to demonstrate the impact of the original data, and ensures that scholars are recognized and rewarded for data they create and share.

Data Copyright

QDR’s holdings are made available for use in education, scholarship, research, teaching, and private study. For data that are copyrighted, the written permission of the copyright owners or other rights holders (such as publicity or privacy rights) may be required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by the Copyright Act’s provision on fair use or other statutory exemptions.

The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections often makes it difficult to determine the copyright status of an item. Neither QDR nor Syracuse University holds the copyright for the materials QDR publishes. Users are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of any material they may wish to deposit or download for their use, investigating the ownership of the copyright, obtaining permission for any intended use, and determining the applicability of any statutory exemptions.

QDR is always interested in learning more about our collections. If you have information regarding materials held in the repository, please contact us at