Latest SOCEY News

The last six months have seen much change in our way of working with COVID-19 lockdowns worldwide. Digital technologies and access have become increasingly important and, for those working in the humanities, ability to access digitised archival materials online has proven critical to our work.

This blogpost gives a brief update on some of the projects that we’ve been working on over the last eight months.

Doing Research Differently

Our discussion paper, Doing Research Differently: Archiving & Sharing Qualitative Data in Studies of Childhood, Education and Youth, has recently been published.

This paper was written as part of a SOCEY project, funded by the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). This comprised the development of the SOCEY website and archive, and the archiving of data from six pilot projects in the SOCEY Repository.

Exploring directions and dilemmas in the archiving and sharing of qualitative research, placing a specific focus on studies of childhood, education and youth, the paper was written by SOCEY team members, Julie McLeod, Kate O’Connor and Nicole Davis.

It also examines some of the practical problems and challenges stemming from the archiving of the first six projects on the SOCEY Repository, which were prepared and loaded by archivers Sari Braithwaite, Emily Fitzgerald, Rachel Flenley, Jo Higginson, Monika Popovski and Henry Reese.

The paper also features appended reports prepared by these project archivers , as well as a report on automated data anonymisation from University of Melbourne’s Geordie Zhang.

They provide a detailed account of the different approaches taken to archiving project data. Significant support on the archiving of projects, as well as contribution to the paper was provided by Janet McDougall and David Haddican from the Australian Data Archive.

Projects Uploaded to SOCEY Repository

Over the past few months, the SOCEY team have been working to prepare and upload projects to the SOCEY Repository. This dedicated digital archive for work on studies related to childhood, youth and education is hosted by the Australian Data Archive (ADA) on the Dataverse platform. It offers secure storage for archival materials, both born-digital and digitised, as well as a platform for sharing qualitative data through a mediated process.

The first six pilot projects also allowed us to test the processes involved in preparing and archiving data, allowing us to create workflows for users and contributing to the discussion paper on archiving and sharing qualitative data.

You can view the first three published datasets on the SOCEY Dataverse: Jacqueline Laughland-Booÿ‘s (ACU); Our Lives: Asylum Seekers, The Curriculum Policies Project from University of Melbourne’s Lyn Yates; and Jo Higginson‘s (UniMelb) PhD Project, Globally Mobile Lives and Suburban Government Schooling.

In the next month or so, three more projects will be published and we are currently beginning to prepare another project for deposit.

If you’re interested in depositing your born-digital or paper-based (to-be-digitised) data with SOCEY, head to our repository page for further information.


We have recently updated the SOCEY projects page and added a number of new research initiatives from our community. These projects are separate to the SOCEY Repository, with no onus to archive projects to have them showcased on the website, although the data for some of these projects are stored in the repository and others will be added in the future. In coming months, our blog posts will feature specific projects, as well as discussions and latests news surrounding the digitising and archiving of work related to the studies of childhood, education and youth. We welcome guest blog posts from anyone interested in the topic and invite submissions through our email.


SOCEY has recently published our first newsletter, with updates on the current work undertaken by the community in the previous six to eight months. We will be publishing one newsletter a month with updates on SOCEY and our projects and community. We’d also love to hear from you if you have events, recent publications, or any other news that you’d like us to feature on the newsletter. You can also subscribe to the newsletter through this form.