Picture of Open Access badges

Discover Open Access research at Strathprints

It's International Open Access Week, 24-30 October 2016. This year's theme is "Open in Action" and is all about taking meaningful steps towards opening up research and scholarship. The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Explore recent world leading Open Access research content by University of Strathclyde researchers and see how Strathclyde researchers are committing to putting "Open in Action".


Image: h_pampel, CC-BY

Applied hermeneutics and qualitative safety data: the CIRAS project

Davies, John B. and Wallace, Brendan and Ross, Alastair (2003) Applied hermeneutics and qualitative safety data: the CIRAS project. Human Relations, 56 (5). pp. 587-607. ISSN 0018-7267

Full text not available in this repository. (Request a copy from the Strathclyde author)


This article describes the new qualitative methodology developed for use in CIRAS (Confidential Incident Reporting and Analysis System), the confidential database set up for the UK railways by the University of Strathclyde. CIRAS is a project in which qualitative safety data are disidentified and then stored and analysed in a central database. Due to the confidential nature of the data provided, conventional (positivist) methods of checking their accuracy are not applicable; therefore a new methodology was developed - the Applied Hermeneutic Methodology (AHM). Based on Paul Ricoeur's 'hermeneutic arc', this methodology uses appropriate computer software to provide a method of analysis that can be shown to be reliable (in the sense that consensus in interpretations between different interpreters can be demonstrated). Moreover, given that the classifiers of the textual elements can be represented in numeric form, AHM crosses the 'qualitative-quantitative divide'. It is suggested that this methodology is more rigorous and philosophically coherent than existing methodologies and that it has implications for all areas of the social sciences where qualitative texts are analysed.