The Quality of Qualitative Research

Quality in qualitative research
Bridget Young
University of Liverpool, UK
“How can an enquirer persuade his or her
audiences that the research findings of an
inquiry are worth listening to?”
Lincoln Y, Guba E Naturalistic Inquiry 1995; Beverley Hills CA: Sage
• 93 papers on quality assurance in qualitative
Reynolds J et al, Health Research Policy and Systems 2011;9:43
76 separate checklist items
Tong A et al, Int J Quality in Health Care 2007; 19:349-57
Technical approach
Technical approach
Dixon-Woods et al Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 2007;12:4247
Connoisseurship approach
• “He [Goffman] felt very strongly that you
could not elaborate any useful rules or
procedures for doing field research”
Speaking of Irving Goffman (Becker H. Symbolic Interaction,
Craftmanship approach
“Research is in large part a craft learned through
personal experience of doing research and from an
appreciation of what is good in other people’s research
[…] quality […] does not depend on unthinking
adherence to rules of method […] but exposure to
methodological debates can help loosen thoughts that
are stuck”
Seale C, The Quality of Qualitative Research 1999;London: Sage
Hints and tips (in the spirit of
• Know the worth of your topic and where it fits
in the literature
• Ensure methods match questions
• Look critically at what the findings contribute
• Use methodological writings as thinking
resources (rather than as instructions to be
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