Question : What methods did the researcher use to analyse the data and what quality control measures were implemented?
The data analysis section of a qualitative research paper is where sense can most readily be distinguished from nonsense. Having...
amassed a thick pile of completed interview transcripts or field notes, the genuine qualitative researcher has hardly begun. It is simply not good enough to flick through the text looking for “interesting quotes” which support a particular theory. The researcher must find a systematic way of analysing his or her data and, in particular, must seek examples of cases which appear to contradict or challenge the theories derived from the majority. One way of doing this is via content analysis: drawing up a list of coded categories and “cutting and pasting” each segment of transcribed data into one of these categories.This can be done either manually or, if large amounts of data are to be analysed, via a tailormade computer database. The statements made by all the subjects on a particular topic can then be compared with one another and more sophisticated comparisons can be made, such as “Did people who made statement A also tend to make statement B?”. A good qualitative research paper may show evidence of “quality control”; that is, the data (or at least a sample of them) will have been analysed by more than one researcher to confirm that they are both assigning the same meaning to them. In analysing my own research into health beliefs in diabetic patients, three of us looked in turn at a typed interview transcript and assigned codings to particular statements.We then compared our decisions and argued (sometimes heatedly) about our disagreements. Our analysis revealed differences in the interpretation of certain statements which we were unable to fully resolve; in other words, our inability to “wrap up” all aspects of the interpretation was itself an important
item of data.(1) All this is legitimate methodology for analysing qualitative data. What is not legitimate is to assume that there is a single “right” way to interpret the data. Having said that, there are some researchers who feel strongly that only the person most immersed in the fieldwork has genuine insight into the meaning of the data; in other words, interpretation should not be “triangulated” by all and sundry simply to give a show of improving validity.ارائه مطالب آموزشی