How we Ensured Rigor from a Multi-site, Multi-discipline, Multi-researcher Study

H. Ken Crawford, Marnie L. Leybourne, Allan Arnott


Qualitative research has often been criticised for its lack of rigour. In order to overcome this, measures of trustworthiness, dependability and reliability have been suggested. A study of how pastoralists learn to incorporate sustainable farming systems in the tropical savannas of Australia employed multiple-researchers, working in three States and from a variety of disciplines. To ensure rigour a framework for the study was developed by the researchers prior to commencing interviews. This was followed by regular teleconferences to ensure that the framework was valid and to adjust for any problems encountered along the way. Every interview was analysed independently by all researchers before a workshop was conducted to bring the ideas together. Categories and ideas within the data were synthesised to create an overall understanding of the learning process within the confines of "landcare" in the Tropical Savannas. These processes were undertaken in consultation with the pastoralists and the process has been explicitly documented to enable readers to follow the research process easily. The rigour in this project is shown in the clear documentation of the research process carried out by individual researchers and by the team when it met. The understanding of pastoralists' learning processes is our interpretation; it is up to the reader to decide whether s/he agrees with that interpretation, but from the description of the process it is easy for the reader to see where and why her/his interpretation differs. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0001125

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Copyright (c) 2000 H. Ken Crawford, Marnie L. Leybourne, Allan Arnott

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