Working with Paradata, Marginalia and Fieldnotes

Free One Day Conference at Leicester
Postgraduate Travel Bursaries available – please email

Working with Paradata, Marginalia and Fieldnotes:
The Centrality of By-Products of Social Research
College Court Conference Centre
University of Leicester
January 14th 2014

Paradata, marginalia, fieldnotes and letters are all by-products of the process of social research which can add considerable depth to our understanding of the research process. It is only recently, however, that researchers have begun to recognise the value of such data. In the field of large-scale survey data paradata analysis has become more widespread with researchers increasingly turning their attention to the context in which questionnaires are completed, observations made during the interview and the impact of such factors on the recruitment and retention of participants. For those researchers undertaking secondary analysis of datasets the benefits of paradata and marginalia in the form of fieldnotes and fieldworker comments in the margins of questionnaires are invaluable and can cast light on the otherwise hidden aspects of field research.

This free one-day conference offers academics and postgraduate students the opportunity to learn more about recent research that addresses the issue of how to make use of the by-products of social research. The day represents a unique chance for a dialogue across disciplines and research paradigms: across social sciences and humanities, historical and contemporary data, primary and secondary sources, quantitative and qualitative approaches – each highly important with the increasing emphasis of research councils on interdisciplinary and secondary research.

This is a free conference with lunch included but pre-registration is required as places are limited.

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