Video lecture: quality of qualitative research

Video 2: The Quality of Qualitative Research. Part 2 of 3 on Research Quality: A lecture on the quality of research and the research process taken from a series on research methods and research design given to masters (graduate) students by Graham R Gibbs at the University of Huddersfield. This is part 2 of three, and deals with adapting the ideas of reliability, validity, generalizability to the field of qualitative research. (

Related videos:

Criterias for judgin qualitative research


Credibility: The credibility criteria involves establishing that the results of qualitative research are credible or believable from the perspective of the participant in the research. Since from this perspective, the purpose of qualitative research is to describe or understand the phenomena of interest from the participant's eyes, the participants are the only ones who can legitimately judge the credibility of the results.

Transferability: Transferability refers to the degree to which the results of qualitative research can be generalized or transferred to other contexts or settings. The qualitative researcher can enhance transferability by doing a thorough job of describing the research context and the assumptions that were central to the research. The person who wishes to "transfer" the results to a different context is then responsible for making the judgment of how sensible the transfer is.

Dependability: The idea of dependability, on the other hand, emphasizes the need for the researcher to account for the ever-changing context within which research occurs. The research is responsible for describing the changes that occur in the setting and how these changes affected the way the research approached the study.

Confirmability: Qualitative research tends to assume that each researcher brings a unique perspective to the study. Confirmability refers to the degree to which the results could be confirmed or corroborated by others


Triangulation is important method used by qualitative researchers

Triangulation is a method used by qualitative researchers to check and establish validity in their studies by analyzing a research question from multiple perspectives. Triangulation seeks to validate a claim, a process, or an outome at least two independent sources. It puts into operation a key question in the researcher's toolbox, "is this person lying to me?" (Newby, 2010)

Patton (2002) cautions that it is a common misconception that the goal of triangulation is to arrive at consistency across data sources or approaches; in fact, such inconsistencies may be likely given the relative strengths of different approaches. In Patton’s view, these inconsistencies should not be seen as weakening the evidence, but should be viewed as an opportunity to uncover deeper meaning in the data.

Example of triangulation

Laru, J., & Järvelä, S. (2008). Social patterns in mobile technology mediated collaboration among members of the professional distance education community. Educational Media International, 45(1), 17-32.


Triangulation types


  1. Data triangulation
    Data triangulation involves using different sources of information in order to increase the validity of a study.

  2. Investigator triangulation
    Investigator triangulation involves using several different investigators in the analysis process.

  3. Theory triangulation
    Theory triangulation involves the use of multiple perspectives to interpret a single set of data.

  4. Methodological triangulation
    Methodological triangulation involves the use of multiple qualitative and/or quantitative methods to study the program. For example, results from surveys, focus groups, and interviews could be compared to see if similar results are being found. If the conclusions from each of the methods are the same, then validity is established.

  5. Environmental triangulation
    This type of triangulation involves the use of different locations, settings, and other key factors related to the environment in which the study took place, such as the time, day, or season.

Thesis analysis  

1. Go to Jultika (

2. Download thesis [filter: master thesis, english, faculty of education]

3. Try to get answer to these questions

  1. What is transferability of the research design? How thoroughly the research context and the assumptions are described in text?.
  2. What kind of triangulation has been used in thesis? if any?
  3. What kind of exact reliability/validity or credibility/transferability/dependability/comfirmability descriptions you can recognize from master thesis?

4. Present


Workshop 26-09-2014

Mixed Method Research

Introduction by Prof. Creswell

Personal reflections


Curate as community QualitativeR topics

Aims of this workshop


In this workshop you should:

  • Understand basic principles of the audio data transcribing
  • Learn how to use one of the data transcribing software

A. Type of transcription for qualitative research

B. Task for this workshop

C. Transcription software

Alternative 1: Express scribe (free for non-commercial use)

Alternative 2: Nvivo (commercial)

Method 1: coding  an audio file

this method can be used e.g. for off-task / on-task analysis: you can code meaningfull parts of the audio / video (which will be transcribed by using method 2).

Method 2: Transcribing in NVivo 9

Related articles and book chapters:

McLellan, E., MacQueen, K. M., & Neidig, J. L. (2003). Beyond the qualitative interview: Data preparation and transcription. Field methods15(1), 63-84. 

Davidson, C. (2009). Transcription: Imperatives for Qualitative Research.International Journal of Qualitative Methods8(2).

1. Reading task: overview of qualitative research

This slideset (from last year) is quite heavy stuff, so, but use 15 minutes to skim these slides (wink) These slides give an overview of (qualitative) scientific research. (use this link is embedded slideshare presentation doesn't show)

B. TASK: Analyse structure (theses)

We will continue our Nvivo exercises. Today we will use Nvivo10 in order to analyse master thesis.

B1.Import source into Nvivo

SOURCE: Import one qualitative master thesis* into Nvivo (before importing, be sure that thesis is QUALITATIVE)

*Download from these sites:

B2. Create coding structure** in Nvivo10

B3. Code thesis by using coding structure (nodes)

**Suggested node coding structure:

Hint: Create node structure before coding

N1 Introduction (broad overview of the research)

  • N1.1 opening statement of purpose, aims, argument to be presented, perspective to be employed or the problem to be investigated, or the question to which you do not know the answer, and for which research is therefore necessary. If these 'emerged' during the process of the research, then the narrative of the emergence needs to be detailed (probably in one or more chapters following the introduction): how emerged, what led to what, what problems were encountered, how overcome, what unanticipated theoretical, methodological issues arose, how these shaped the emergent design, and what social, political, cultural, professional, personal psychological, etc issues emerged as the fieldwork was undertaken).
  • N1.2 background to the research. - what led to it?- the nature of the debate (political, social, cultural, economic, professional ... etc) that has led to it . In short, this is a justification for doing the research, indicating for example, its personal, professional, academic, methodological, social, political etc importance. This may be included in the introduction, however, if it is substantial it may be a full chapter on its own.

N2 Review of the literature (and conceptual framework)

  • Review of the relevant literature - there are four kinds of review that can be done: a review of perspectives; a methodological review; a theoretical review; a substantive review. The purpose and focus of the assignment, dissertation or thesis will place different stress on one or more of these. Each review may be merged in one chapter or may be located in other apprpriate chapters, or may be woven into the emergent body of the writing throughout its chapters. In each case each the review will address such questions as: What's the debate? What rationales are employed by the protagonists, where are the weak spots and the strong points of each protagonist?

N3 Research questions

N4 Methodology

  • N 4.1 the research methods and methodology: This is typically a separate chapter. Depending on the focus of the writing (stressing methodology and using the substance of the research as illustrative as opposed to stressing the substance, employing the methdology as the means of developing findings/conclusions/recommendations that are convincing), the methodology and the methods may either be discussed and detailed in one chapter or separated into two or more chapters.
    • description of and justification of methodology/perspective chosen (e.g., why qualitative, or case study, or quantitative; why symbolic interactionism, phenomenology, feminism, marxism, critical realism, ...etc)
    • outline of methods employed (interview, participant observation, statistical etc)- descriptions of how many interviewed etc
    • justification of methods employed (i.e., why particularly appropriate for the subject under study), indications of their limitations
    • how and degree to which objectivity and validity are achieved; or, degree to which subjectivity is justifie
    • discussion of ethical issues in collecting, processing, and re-presenting data
  • N 4.2 Description of 'field site' where data gathered 
    • the physical site .
    • relevant organisations involved and their relevant organisational features
    • nature of the population, composition (relevant gender, ethnic, age, cultural, etc factors)

    • relevant historical background
    • relevant social, economic, political, religious, etc factors/circumstances

N5 Results or Findings

N6 Interpretations, Conclusions, and Recommendations

  • N6.1 Summary: Begin with a very brief summary of the problem addressed and the main results of your research. Indicate whether or not the hypotheses were supported
  • N6.2 Conflusions: The results should be interpreted in light of the full set of results, the applicable literature, the theoretical foundation or conceptual framework used, and the limitations of the study and literature. What do the results mean and what do they not mean? What are the possible causes of the results? What are the possible consequences of the results?



Suggested coding structure is based on the following websites:


  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2010


What is Nvivo

NVivo key terms:

  • Sources are your research materials including documents, PDFs, datasets, audio, video, pictures, memos and framework matrices.
  • Coding is the process of gathering material by topic, theme or case. For example, selectin a paragraph about water quality and coding it at the node ‘water quality’.
  • Nodes are containers for your coding—they let you gather related material in one place so that you can look for emerging patterns and ideas.
  • Source classifications let you record information about your sources—for example, bibliographical data.
  • Node classifications allow to you record information about people, places or other cases for example, demographic data about people.

Getting Started Guide


(bolded topics are most important)

  • Read getting started guide to get basic knowledge (16-44)
  • Open Nvivo and open help tool (question mark, upper-right corner). Explore topics carefully.
  • Open Sample Project in Nvivo
    • Sources pane (left side of the UI)
      • Explore interviews -folder (check especially video interview to see how video and transcription are synced)
      • Look into Area and township -folder. Images can be used as sources also. Try to code image (draw rectangular to image and click right button)
      • Check Social Media and survey folders in order to get picture that web sites and questionnaires can be used also as sources
      • IMPORT document to Nvivo
    • Nodes pane
      • Click economy node. List of references (node content) in sources will be generated. Explore it to see which sources include "economy node"
      • Go to VIew tab (top of the screen)
        • turn stripes on
        • turn highlights on
    • Classifications
      • Check what kind of classifications have been done
      • Go to different sets of sources and open classification sheets
    • Queries pane
      • Coding comparison: two persons code same content and Nvivo calculates similarity of coding. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT for validity / reliability of your study.
      • Other queries are for exploring your nodes/data, but are for "advanced users" .. I have used queries to quantify my qualitative data. Check what kind of queries have been done in sample project
    • Reports
      • You can get coding summaries, node summaries etc. reports by using this dialog. Quite nice for getting an overview of your nodes etc.


Welcome to the quali course

Welcome to the qualitative research -course.