METHOD SECTION OF QUALITATIVE & QUANTITATIVE REPORTS (Questions to…
OF QUALITATIVE &
(Questions to ask)
APPROACH TO THE RESEARCH
Has this topic been adequately addressed?
Not typically discussed but a positivist
approach is assumed
A brief outline of the philosophical assumptions/
paradigms that underpin the research. These should
be shown to be congruent with the research design
How clearly is the study design
explained / described?
Is a rationale provided for the
selection of the study design?
Was this information placed
at an appropriate and helpful
place in the report that improves the
understanding of the remainder?
A named design with the primary variables
and their relationships to each other described
A named design with some indication of its
intellectual heritage (e.g. anthropology, psychology
SAMPLING / PARTICIPANTS
How well are decisions regarding the
nature, number and selection of participants
conveyed and justified?
Have participants been treated
A clear rationale for the sample characteristics
and selection with clearly specified inclusion/exclusion selection criteria. The sample should closely match the selection criteria. A thorough explanation of the selection/recruitment procedure and a discussion of any limitations of this process. A justification of the size of the sample, e.g. in terms of the statistics.
Participant demographics and any other relevant characteristics, depending on the findings. Rationale for participant selection. A clear outline of sampling and recruitment strategies with a clear discussion of any limitation of these processes. A coherent rationale for the sample size that is related to the design and purpose of the study and justified in terms of the methodology.
How thoroughly are these
aspects reported and justified?
All instruments/measures/procedures clearly named and described. Where appropriate, validity and reliability of measures should be adequately demonstrated - remember that the results will only be useful in so far as the measuring tools are credible or reliable and this must be demonstrated through adequate reporting. A rationale for the selection of particular instruments or measures where there is more than one option.
Information about how any data collection stimuli (e.g. interview questions) were developed and the topic areas covered plus information about any piloting.
How well has the data generation
process been carried out?
How thoroughly are the
Is there sufficient detail
Do you know enough to
repeat the study?
The protocol for the use for each instrument/measure/procedure; the details regarding the recording of all data; the exact manner in which each intervention was applied to each participant. Adequate details regarding the statistical tests used and the processes involved in and justification of choices around analysis of data. A clear statement with regard to how ethical issues were handled.
A detailed account of the data gathering process, plus a justification of any data collection method. An account of any ethical procedures (e.g. consent / debriefing, etc.) plus length and number of interviews or focus groups, etc., and recording and transcription info. Full details of the analytic/process steps and an indication of how thoroughly this was carried out through comprehensive reporting and documentation of the procedure.
Is there any consideration of how
the quality of a qualitative analysis
How well documented and reflexive
is the research process?
How appropriate are the
How well have ethical issues been
considered and addressed?
Not generally discussed as there is a clearer general consensus on what these are.
A description of what the quality criteria for the study are, and how quality has been achieved and the forms of validation that have been attempted (e.g. member/peer validation, etc.)
Has this been addressed
in the report?
Not addressed because quantitative studies assume an objective researcher stance.
A rationale for adopting a reflexive approach. A positioning of the researcher in relation to the topic or population of interest (e.g. age, gender, first-hand experience of the topic area, etc.) An outline of any assumptions or biases that the researcher might bring to the investigation and how these have been managed throughout the research process, and in particular throughout the analytical process.