After collecting qualitative data from in-depth interviews, focus groups, or field observations, students and researchers often struggle to make sense of it. This step-by-step guide draws on the authors' many years of experience carrying out qualitative research and conducting trainings on the subject. Their book describes how to analyze qualitative data in a systematic and rigorous way. The authors introduce and outline applied thematic analysis, an inductive approach that draws on established and innovative theme-based techniques suited to the applied research context. Chapters follow the sequence of activities in the analysis process and also include discussions of mixed methods, choosing the most appropriate software, and how to write up and present the results.

“This book presents what all of the books I've tried to use in the past have failed to present—how to analyze qualitative data.”—Catherine C. Schifter, Temple University

“This book does a wonderful job of explaining how important thematic analysis is for producing good research, and it uses rich and detailed examples to do it.”—Matthew Hartley, University of Pennsylvania

Validity and Reliability (Credibility and Dependability) in Qualitative Research and Data Analysis

Learning Objectives

After reading this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the meaning of validity and reliability as concepts in research
  • Provide alternate terms for validity and reliability
  • Critically apply the concepts of validity and reliability to qualitative research in general, and thematic analysis specifically
  • Perform various procedures to enhance both validity and reliability during qualitative data analysis (and to a lesser degree, research design and qualitative data collection)

The terms validity and reliability are part of the research vernacular across multiple disciplines, and the connotations associated with these terms are as varied as the fields that use them. In this chapter, we examine some of the definitions of these terms that can be found in the literature, ...

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