5 Ways To Ensure Reliability And Validity In Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research

Reliability and validity are the most important aspects regarding qualitative research. They aim to check the quality of qualitative research in general. It measures credibility of the following things;
  • Research methods
  • Research techniques
  • Research statistical analysis techniques
Reliability means checking the consistency of qualitative research methods. Whereas validity aims to test accuracy of the methods. Hence it is important to consider both Reliability, as well as validity in qualitative research paper planning through the following means;
  1. Research designing
  2. Mapping of the research’s methodology
  3. Analysis of results
  4. Collection of data (primary or secondary)
But many students who are new to research neglect the importance of Reliability, and Validity. This article will highlight to them the five simple ways of catering to this serious issue. So let’s get started.

5 Ways to ensure Reliability and Validity in qualitative research

The important way for students to ignore the reliability and validity issue in qualitative research is, to understand what they are? So the first way is the conceptual understanding of both.

Reliability versus Validity:

After knowing what Reliability is, you can deliberately ignore it. Reliability means consistency. Hence, the comparison between sequences of same measurements is a good option. Comparing your results with other publications will help in locating the personal errors. The removal of personal errors will increase Reliability of qualitative research as well.

Further, as described above, validity is sometimes harder to access. But the verification of qualitative research by theories can increase the validity factor. If final results oppose the theories, you can revise methods for enhancing validity.

In 2001, Whittemore explained that the students who suffer from Reliability and Validity issues should use two methods.

2. Use Primary validation methods

The primary method can help students in ensuring four qualitative research quality issues;
  • Credibility: The credibility of qualitative research measures the correct anticipation of participants’ meaning.
  • Authenticity: It aims to check if the voices of different people are considered or not.
  • Critically: It highlights whether the researcher critically evaluates all aspects of the research or not.
  • Integrity: It measures the originality of researcher.
By measuring all the parameters mentioned above, a researcher can come closer to his/her validation goals. Still, to ensure further, you can also get help from the secondary validation method.

3. Use the secondary validation method:

In qualitative research, the secondary validation method is another way of ensuring the aspect of Validity. This is because it is one step forward as compared to the primary method. Hence, in this method, researchers can check the following;
  • Explicitness
  • Creativity
  • Congruence
  • Sensitivity
  • Vividness
  • Thoroughness

Especially in doctorate-level research, the secondary validation methods are very important. As we research for an advanced level, the reliability and credibility issues become major concerns. So the step-by-step use of primary, as well as secondary methods can remove all issues that may lead to rejection.

The students should adopt transparency approaches:

Most of the time in qualitative research, the reliability issues occur due to a lack of transparency. The moment the researcher becomes biased, reliability issues arise. So if a person wants to neglect the reliability issues, he must remain honest throughout the research. Qualitative research demands transparency in terms of the following things;
  • Qualitative research demands the researcher to cite reliable sources of data collection.
  • It suggests not re-citing someone else’s work without giving him/her credit.
  • It needs clarity in terms of thinking process, as well as drafting.
  • It wants the researcher not to present false results. The duplicate research with the use of such fake data miss-guides the audience. The research aims to solve social issues. But fake representation of data will disturb society as well, and this should be avoided.
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Standardise the qualitative research conditions

Another most important way of ensuring validity in qualitative research is to follow the standards. Reliability demands the constant standard operating conditions for qualitative research. For example, if a researcher provides audio aid to a few participants, he must provide it to others as well. Because understanding of question with/without audio aids may affect results' validity. Hence, by adopting the above five ways, you can ensure reliability and validity in the qualitative research.

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