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  1. VALIDITY & RELIABILITY IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Qualitative research is concerned with the systematic collection, ordering, description and interpretation of textual data generated from talk, observation or documentation. Qualitative research uses a naturalistic approach that seeks to understand phenomena in context specific setting such as “real world setting researcher does not attempt to manipulate the phenomena of interest” (Patton, 2001).
  2. • (Corbin, 1990) defined qualitative research as “any kind of research that produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or other means of quantitative. • The terms reliability and validity are essential criterion for quality in qualitative paradigm, in qualitative paradigms the terms Credibility, Neutrality or Conformability, Consistency or Dependability and Applicability or Transferability are to be essential criteria for quality (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).
  3. • To be more specific with term of reliability in qualitative research, Lincoln & Guba (1985, p. 300) use “dependability”, in qualitative research which closely corresponds to the notion of “reliability” in quantitative research. They further emphasize “inquiry audit” (p. 317) as one measure which might enhance the dependability of qualitative research. • Quantitative research methods include: interviewing, observation and document analysis • Validity: is descripted as the degree to which a research study measures what is intends to.
  4. • Researcher’s generally determine validity by asking a serious of questions and will often look for answers in the research of other. • Validity: determines whether the research truly measures that which it was intended to or how truthful the research results are. • Reliability and validity are conceptualized as trustworthiness, rigor and quality in qualitative paradigm. That can be achieved by eliminating bias and increasing the researcher’s trustfulness of a proposition about some social phenomena using triangulation.
  5. Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research • Many naturalistic investigators have, however, preferred to use different terminology to distance themselves from positivism paradigm. One such author is Guba, who proposes four criteria that he believes should be considered by qualitative researchers in pursuit of trustworthy study. By addressing similar issues, Guba’s constructs correspond to the criteria employed by the positivism investigator: 1) Credibility (in preference to internal validity) 2) Transferability (in preference to external validity/ generalizability) 3) Dependability (in preference to reliability) 4) Confirmability (in preference to objectivity )
  6. 1) Credibility • one of the key criteria addressed by positivist researchers is that of internal validity, in which they seek to ensure that their study measures or tests what is actually intended. The following provisions may be made by researchers to promote confidence that they have accurately recorded the phenomena under scrutiny: ✔The adoption of research methods well established both in qualitative investigation in general and in information science in particular
  7. ✔ The development an early familiarity with the culture of participating organizations before the first data collection dialogues takes place. ✔ Random sampling of individuals to serve as informants. ✔ Triangulation: triangulation may involve the use of different methods, especially observation, focus groups and individual interviews, which form the major data collection strategies for much qualitative research. ✔ Tactics to help ensure honesty in informants when contributing: in particular each person who is approached should be given opportunities to refuse to participate in the project so as to ensure that the data collection sessions involve only those who are genuinely willing to take part and prepared to offer data freely.
  8. ✔ Iterative questioning: in addition on the “preventative” strategies outlined above specific ploys may be incorporated to uncover deliberate lies. ✔ Negative case analysis ✔ Frequent debriefing sessions between researcher and his or her superiors, such as a project director or steering group. ✔ Peer scrutiny of the research project. ✔ Background, qualifications and experience of investigator. ✔ The researcher’s “reflective commentary”.
  9. 2) Transferability • Erlandson et al. note many naturalistic inquires believe that, in practice even conventional generalizability is never possible as all observations are defined by the specific contexts in which they occur. A contrasting view is offered Stake and Denscombe , who suggest that, although each case may be unique, it is also an example within broader group and as a result the prospect of transferability should not be immediately rejected.
  10. • Lincoln, Guba and Firestone suggest that it is the responsibility of the investigator to insure that sufficient contextual information about field work sites is provided to enable the reader to make such a transfer. • It is also important that sufficient thick description of the phenomenon under investigation is provided to allow readers to have a proper understanding of it, thereby enabling then to compare the instances of the phenomenon described in the research report with those that they have seen emerge in their situations
  11. 3) Dependability Employment of “ overlapping methods” • Lincoln and Guba stress the close ties between credibility and dependability, arguing that in practice a demonstration of the former goes some distance in insuring the latter. This may be achieved through the use overlapping methods such as the focus group and individual interview. In order to address the dependability issue more directly, the process with in the study should be reported in detail, thereby enabling a future researcher to repeat the work, if not necessarily to gain the same results.
  12. • 4) Confirmability • The concept of confirmability is the qualitative investigator’s comparable concern to objectivity. Here steps must be taken to help insure as far as possible that the works findings are the result of the experiences and ideas of the informants, rather than the characteristics and preferences of the researcher. • The role of triangulation in promoting such comfirmablity must again be emphasized, in this context to reduce the effect of investigator bias.
  13. • Miles and Huberman consider that a key criterion for comfirmability is the extent to which the research admits his or her own predisposition. To this end, beliefs underpinning decision made and methods adopted should be acknowledged within the research report, the reasons for favoring one approach when others could have been taken explained and weaknesses in the techniques actually employed admitted. In terms of results, preliminary theories that ultimately where not borne out by the data should also be discussed. •