It is a common misperception among researchers that the analysis of research data is a process that is confined to the data itself. This is probably truer among qualitative researchers than survey researchers given that the latter frequently publish their work in the literature comparing and contrasting their data with relevant earlier studies. Qualitative research, on the other hand, is typically held up to less scrutiny; and, except for the usual comparisons of populations segments, it is rare to find an analytical discussion that goes beyond the patterns and themes derived from the qualitative data itself. This may be for any number of reasons. It may be associated with the idea that qualitative research by definition is chock full of uncontrollable variables that vary from study to study making data comparisons across studies unreliable, or it may be researchers’ unfamiliarity with the concept of data verification in qualitative research, or it may be a function of limited resources (i.e., time and research budget), or qualitative researchers may simply be unwilling to expend the extra effort to broaden their analyses.

    Yet looking outside the data we gather in in-depth interviews (IDIs), group discussions, or observations is important to the integrity of our qualitative research designs. The consideration of alternative sources of information serves to verify the study data while giving the researcher a different, more enriched perspective on study outcomes.  It is not important whether this additional input supports the researcher’s conclusions from the primary data; and, indeed, contradictions in the verification process do not necessarily invalidate the study’s findings. What is important, however, is that the researcher recognizes how other points of view can contribute to a more balanced as well as more robust and meaningful analysis rather than relying on study data alone.

    There are many proposed approaches to the verification of qualitative research data. Three of the most useful are:

    • Triangulation: The use of multiple sources to contrast and compare study data to establish supporting and/or contradictory information. A few common forms of triangulation are those that compare study data with data obtained from other sources (e.g., comparing the IDI transcripts from interviews with environmental activists with those from conservationists), a different method (e.g., comparing results from an IDI study to focus group results on the same subject matter), and another researcher (e.g., using multiple researchers in the analysis phase to compare interpretations of the data).
    • Negative case (or “deviant”) analysis: The researcher actively seeks instances in the study data that contradict or otherwise conflict with the prevailing evidence in the data, i.e., looks for outliers. This analysis compels the researcher to develop an understanding about why outliers exist, leading to a greater comprehension as to the strengths and limits of the research data.
    • Reflexive journal: A diary kept by the researcher to provide personal thoughts and insights on what happened during the study. It is an invaluable resource that the researcher can use to review and judge the quality of data collection as well as the soundness of the researcher’s interpretations during the analysis phase. This blog has discussed reflexive journals in many posts, including “Reflections from the Field: Questions to Stimulate Reflexivity Among Qualitative Researchers.”

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    Which of the following measures in qualitative research includes verifying transcripts or interpretation of interviews with participants?
    Transcript review is when a qualitative researcher sends a copy of the interview transcript to each respective participant so they can review the document. more
    What is a research question in a research paper?
    A research question is the question around which you center your research. It should be: clear: it provides enough specifics that one's audience can easily understand its purpose without needing additional explanation. more
    What are some good interview questions for a research paper?
    Sample Interview Questions for Research
    • What is innovative about your research?
    • How is your work distinct from your supervisor's/principal investigator's?
    • What influences have you been exposed to?
    • Who has influenced you the most?
    • What has been your role so far in developing research ideas and carrying them forward?
    Which type of interview is most commonly used in qualitative research?
    Semi-structured interviews Semi-structured interviews This type of interview is the most common type of interview used in qualitative research as it combines rigour in the themes and topics addressed and flexibility in the exchange. more
    What problems take place when choosing research topics & Research Questions?
    What Problems Take Place When Choosing Research Topics & Research Questions
    • Topic Apathy.
    • Not Asking Questions.
    • Not Reading Enough.
    • Broad Topics.
    What is behavioral interview and situational interview?
    Situational interview questions ask interviewees to explain how they would react to hypothetical questions in the future, while behavioral interview questions ask interviewees to explain how they have dealt with actual situations in their past. more
    What are the research questions for qualitative research?
    Examples of qualitative research questions:
    • What is it like growing up in a single-parent family in a rural environment?
    • What are the experiences of people working night shifts in health care?
    • How would overweight people describe their meal times while dieting?
    What type of research tools are used in qualitative research mention the characteristics of any three tools for qualitative research?
    However, the three most commonly used qualitative research methods are in-depth interviews, focus group discussions (FGDs) and observation. more
    How many types of interview are there in research?
    There are three types of interviews: unstructured, semistructured, and structured. more
    How do you thank someone for participating in a research interview?
    I have greatly valued your participation in this research study and your willingness to share about your experience. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. Again, thank you so very much for your time and effort that made this research study possible. more
    How do you debrief after a research interview?
    The Debriefing Form should include the following:
    1. Study title.
    2. Researcher's name and contact information, if applicable, for follow-up questions.
    3. Thank participants for taking the time to participate in the study.
    4. Explain what was being studied (i.e., purpose, hypothesis, aim).
    5. Explain how participants were deceived.


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