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Alternative quality standards in qualitative research?


  • C. Poortman
  • K. Schildkamp



Qualitative researchers often use other principles for judging the quality of their study than quantitative researchers. This inhibits a straightforward assessment of the quality and comparability of different types of studies, as well as decision-making about their usefulness for further research and practice. In this article, we question the use of alternative criteria, and argue for one coherent and inclusive framework of quality criteria for both qualitative and quantitative studies. We developed such a framework, based on a comparison and operationalization of different criteria, and the elaboration of procedures to realize them. Its usability is demonstrated by the application in a qualitative case study research and a mixed-methods study. This framework enhances advancing and judging the basic quality of any type of scientific research, promoting the assessment of the quality and hence usability of studies for further research or decision-making about practice. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • C. Poortman & K. Schildkamp, 2012. "Alternative quality standards in qualitative research?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 46(6), pages 1727-1751, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:46:y:2012:i:6:p:1727-1751
    DOI: 10.1007/s11135-011-9555-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Swanborn, 1996. "A common base for quality control criteria in quantitative and qualitative research," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 19-35, February.
    2. Paulien Meijer & Nico Verloop & Douwe Beijaard, 2002. "Multi-Method Triangulation in a Qualitative Study on Teachers' Practical Knowledge: An Attempt to Increase Internal Validity," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 145-167, May.
    3. Anthony Onwuegbuzie & Nancy Leech, 2007. "Validity and Qualitative Research: An Oxymoron?," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 233-249, April.
    4. Joanna Sale & Lynne Lohfeld & Kevin Brazil, 2002. "Revisiting the Quantitative-Qualitative Debate: Implications for Mixed-Methods Research," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 43-53, February.
    5. Anthony Onwuegbuzie & Nancy Leech, 2005. "Taking the “Q” Out of Research: Teaching Research Methodology Courses Without the Divide Between Quantitative and Qualitative Paradigms," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 267-295, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:taf:oabmxx:v:2:y:2015:i:1:p:1037225 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Triss Ashton & Nicholas Evangelopoulos & Victor Prybutok, 2014. "Extending monitoring methods to textual data: a research agenda," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 2277-2294, July.
    3. Marianne Döös & Lena Wilhelmson, 2014. "Proximity and distance: phases of intersubjective qualitative data analysis in a research team," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 1089-1106, March.


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