Thinking About Me: Reflexivity in science and qualitative research

Reflexivity is a process (and it should be a continuing process) of reflecting on how the researcher could be influencing a research project. In a traditional positivist research paradigm, the researcher attempts to be a neutral influence on  research. They make rational and logical interpretations, and assume a ‘null hypothesis’, in which they expect all experiments to have no effect, and have no pre-defined concept of what

The importance of keeping open-ended qualitative responses in surveys

I once had a very interesting conversation at a MRS event with a market researcher from a major media company. He told me that they were increasingly ‘costing-out’ the qualitative open-ended questions from customer surveys because they were too expensive and time consuming to analyse. Increasingly they were replacing open-ended questions with a series of Likert scale questions which could be automatically and statistically

Analytical memos and notes in qualitative data analysis and coding

There is a lot more to qualitative coding than just deciding which sections of text belong in which theme. It is a continuing, iterative and often subjective process, which can take weeks or even months. During this time, it’s almost essential to be recording your thoughts, reflecting on the process, and keeping yourself writing and thinking about the bigger picture. Writing doesn’t start after the analysis process, in qualitative

Starting a qualitative research thesis, and choosing a CAQDAS package

  For those about to embark on a qualitative Masters or PhD thesis, we salute you!   More and more post-graduate students are using qualitative methods in their research projects, or adopting mixed-method data collection and using a small amount of qualitative data which needs to be combined with quantitative data. So this year, how can students decide the best approach for the analysis of their data, and can CAQDAS or QDA software

Reflections on qualitative software from KWALON 2016

Last week saw a wonderful conference held by the the Dutch network for qualitative research KWALON, based at the Erasmus University, Rotterdam. The theme was no less than the future of Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) software.   Chair Jeanine Evers opened the session by outlining 8 important themes the group had identified on qualitative analysis software.   The first was the challenge of adding features to software that is requested