Qualitative Research in Psychology: What Does a Good Publication Contain?

  • Stefan Ilg Universität Zürich
  • Brigitte Boothe Universität Zürich
Keywords: qualitative research, psychometric properties, guidelines for publication, methodological discussion


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. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1002256


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Author Biographies

Stefan Ilg, Universität Zürich
Stefan ILG studierte an der Universität Zürich Psychologie und befindet sich seit Oktober 2008 in der postgradualen Weiterbildung der Universität Zürich in psychoanalytischer Psychotherapie. Seit Januar 2010 tätig als Psychologe in der Psychiatrischen Klinik Münsterlingen.
Brigitte Boothe, Universität Zürich
Brigitte BOOTHE, Staatsexamen in Philosophie, Germanistik und Romanistik, Promotion in Philosophie (über WITTGENSTEINs Konzepte der Beschreibung und der Lebensform). Weiterbildungen in Gesprächspsychotherapie, Psychodrama und Psychoanalyse (DPG, DGPT). Habilitation an der Medizinischen Fakultät der Universität Düsseldorf über Sprache und Psychoanalyse. Seit 1990 Ordinariat für Klinische Psychologie an der Universität Zürich. Publikationen zu Psychoanalyse der Weiblichkeit, Kommunikation und Narration in der Psychotherapie, Psychologie des Wünschens.