Quality control procedures checklist

Documenting your Quality control procedures
Consider the following, and document them in a data management plan:
  • Does your Informed Consent Form adequately describe what data will be processed and made available/accessible to whom, including potential future use?
  • What tools you need to document your data collection? E.g. Blaise, a diary or log and/or a recording device. Did you test these tools prior to starting the data collection?
  • Instead of a data dictionary as used in quantitative research, do you make use of a topic list or script? If so, are these evaluated via a test interview and documented?
  • Are data collected under a subject ID, or can the subject be directly identifiable by the information provided in the collected data?
  • Who has access to data collection files?
  • Is every person conducting an interview trained according to a specific ‘handbook’/guideline and study specific training e.g. on topic lists? Is this training documented?
  • Will you include peer debriefing?
  • Will you maintain field notes, and if so, do they include logs (diary), methodological and theoretical day and keep these field notes under version control?
  • Are recording devices:
    • check (incl. batteries) to ensure they work properly
    • Stored in a safe location/ manner directly after the interview and was the data uploaded  within X time into the Project Folder to secure the data?
    • What privacy and security safeguards were applied to prevent data loss or data leaking
  • How are interview data transcribed and is quality guaranteed?
  • Coding: who creates the codebook and do specific standards apply? If one person creates the codebook, who checks this?
  • Are documents kept under version control?
  • Is the moment of completing data collection/ no longer allowing updates to data logged and files made as read-only files, to secure the original files remain intact?
  • Etc.

To ensure proper data collection including quality control and change control procedures are applied, have your DMP checked by a (research) data management consultant.