ERIC Number: EJ792970
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Strategies for Ensuring Trustworthiness in Qualitative Research Projects
Shenton, Andrew K.
Education for Information, v22 n2 p63-75 2004
Although many critics are reluctant to accept the trustworthiness of qualitative research, frameworks for ensuring rigour in this form of work have been in existence for many years. Guba's constructs, in particular, have won considerable favour and form the focus of this paper. Here researchers seek to satisfy four criteria. In addressing credibility, investigators attempt to demonstrate that a true picture of the phenomenon under scrutiny is being presented. To allow transferability, they provide sufficient detail of the context of the fieldwork for a reader to be able to decide whether the prevailing environment is similar to another situation with which he or she is familiar and whether the findings can justifiably be applied to the other setting. The meeting of the dependability criterion is difficult in qualitative work, although researchers should at least strive to enable a future investigator to repeat the study. Finally, to achieve confirmability, researchers must take steps to demonstrate that findings emerge from the data and not their own predispositions. The paper concludes by suggesting that it is the responsibility of research methods teachers to ensure that this or a comparable model for ensuring trustworthiness is followed by students undertaking a qualitative inquiry.
Descriptors: Qualitative Research, Research Methodology, Credibility, Researchers, Methods Teachers, Trust (Psychology), Criteria, Data Analysis, Validity, Reliability
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