Qualitative Research in Psychology: What Does a Good Publication Contain?
Many scholars employing qualitative research methods would not doubt that there is a need for quality criteria in qualitative research. But current definitions of such criteria diverge. In this paper, we show why qualitative research is in need of quality criteria and why there is need to clarify empirically, which criteria are most probably useful. A quantitative study of qualitative determined research results is proposed to shed light on this matter. The guidelines for publication of qualitative research studies drafted by ELLIOTT, FISCHER and RENNIE (1999) provided us with a basis in such an endeavor. An exploration of 68 publications was able to show that writers of qualitative academic papers pay much attention to the description of the method and to the consideration of ethic issues. However, the discussions are frequently unilateral and the authors are rarely responsive to problems and decisions made as part of and in their work. Our results show that the number of criteria attained is correlated with the length of the publication. No relationship exists between the number of criteria attained and the type of publication (journal vs. collected edition). The results, the method, and the limitations of the present analysis are subjected to a critical examination and the possibilities for subsequent studies are shown.
qualitative research; psychometric properties; guidelines for publication; methodological discussion