Reliability and Validity

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Cross, A.G. (2004). Protecting the voices of our research: Appropriately verifying qualitative data. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 18(4), 491-504.

  • This article addresses the issue of data fabrication and the available data verification procedures. The article discusses three issues in data verification: (a) methodological misunderstandings, (b)incompetent scrutiny of qualitative research and, (c)extra disciplinary research and regulations governing research misconduct. The author proposes a two-tiered approach to deal with qualitative data verification.

Golafshani, N, N. (2003) .Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8(4), 1-10.

  • The author attempts to redefine the concepts of reliability, validity and triangulation. The article argues that, if they are relevant research concepts, particularly from a qualitative point of view, they have to be redefined in order to reflect the multiple ways of establishing truth. The author discusses the naturalistic approach to the concepts of reliability and validity in qualitative research as opposed to the positivist perspective in quantitative research.

Long,T. & Johnson, M. (2000). Rigour, reliability and validity in qualitative research. Clinical Effectiveness in Nursing 4(1), 30–37.

  • This article addresses issues relating to rigour within qualitative research, starting with the need for rigor at all in such studies. The author analyzes the concept of reliability establishing the traditional understanding of the term, and evaluating alternative terms. The article then explores the concept of validity and proposes alternatives. The author offers some strategies to be applied when a researcher is keen to prove reliability and validity in their qualitative research.

Patton, M. (1999). Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis. Health Services Research, 34, 1189-1208.

  • This article examines ways of enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis by addressing some distinct but related inquiry concerns: (a) rigorous techniques and methods for gathering and analyzing qualitative data; (b) including attention to validity, reliability, and triangulation; (c) the credibility, competence, and perceived trustworthiness of the qualitative researcher; and (d) the philosophical beliefs of evaluation users about such paradigm-based preferences as objectivity versus subjectivity, truth versus perspective, and generalizations versus extrapolations.

Riege, A. M. (2003). Validity and reliability tests in case study research: A literature review with “hands-on” applications for each research phase. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 6, 75-86.

  • The article presents that tests of validity and reliability, commonly applied to positivism research, can also be applied to case study research. Confirmability, credibility, transferability, and dependability are respectfully presented as corresponding design tests for construct validity, internal validity, external validity, and reliability. Case study and qualitative techniques are described for each design test. I found this article especially informative as the author related the case study design tests to the concepts of validity and reliability in quantitative research.

Rolfe, G . (2006). Validity, trustworthiness and rigour: Quality and the idea of qualitative research. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 53(3), 304–310.

  • The author discusses how best to judge the quality of qualitative research. The article is divided into three categories: (a) those researchers who wish qualitative research to be judged according to the same criteria as quantitative research; (b) those who believe that a different set of criteria is required; and (c) those who question the appropriateness of any predetermined criteria for judging qualitative research. The author discusses a number of different frameworks and guidelines for judging the quality of qualitative research that have emerged over recent years.

Rust, R. T. & Cooil, B. (1994). Reliability measures for qualitative data: Theory and implications. Journal of Marketing Research, 31, 1-14.

  • Reliability measurement of qualitative data is important to determine the stability and quality of the data obtained. The authors’ assume a decision theoretic loss function, formally model the loss to the researcher of using wrong judgments, and show how this produces a new, proportional reduction in loss (PRL) reliability measure that generalizes many existing quantitative and qualitative measures. They then use this new approach to explore several important practical issues in conducting marketing research with qualitative judgments.

Shenton, A. (2004). Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information, 22(2), 63-75.

  • The author argues that the trustworthiness of qualitative research can be proven by frameworks for ensuring rigor that have been in existence for many years. The author focuses on the constructs of Guba’s that have won considerable favor. The article addresses some criteria for ensuring credibility: sufficient detail of the context of fieldwork, steps to achieve repeatability of the study demonstrate that findings emerge from the data.

Winter, G. (2000). A comparative discussion of the notion of 'Validity' in qualitative and quantitative research. The Qualitative Report, 4, 1-11.

  • The author attempts to establish that validity is not a single, fixed or universal concept, but rather a contingent construct, grounded in the processes and intentions of particular research methodologies and projects. The article deals with the problems faced in defining 'validity' in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and a review of other authors’ categorization. The author distinguishes and compares the claims to 'validity' made by quantitative and qualitative researchers, highlighting similarities and differences.