In this article, I explore the nature of secondary analysis and provide a brief history of the method. Qualitative secondary analysis is a relatively under-used method in education and the social sciences, often due to the lack of easily accessible, relevant, trustworthy, and complete data. I address some of the potentials and limitations that influence its use and explore criteria for assessing the quality and sufficiency of preexisting qualitative research data. Qualitative secondary analysis has important implications for qualitative researchers, students and practitioners interested in generating new knowledge via unobtrusive, reliable, valid, and time/cost effective research through the wider use of existing qualitative data.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Forum: Qualitative Social Research, v. 19, no. 2, article 7, p. 1-17.

Copyright © 2018 Victoria Sherif

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)