Transcribing your own qualitative data

In a previous blog article I talked about some of the practicalities and costs involved in using a professional transcribing service to turn your beautifully recorded qualitative interviews and focus groups into text data ready for analysis. However, hiring a transcriber is expensive, and is often beyond the means of most post-graduate researchers.   There are also serious advantages to doing the transcription yourself that make a better

Designing a semi-structured interview guide for qualitative interviews

  Interviews are a frequently used research method in qualitative studies. You will see dozens of papers that state something like “We conducted n in-depth semi-structured interviews with key informants”. But what exactly does this mean? What exactly counts as in-depth? How structured are semi-structured interviews?   This post is hosted by Quirkos, simple and affordable software for qualitative analysis. Download a 1

Recording good audio for qualitative interviews and focus groups

  Last week’s blog post looked at the transcription process, and what’s involved in getting qualitative interview or focus-group data transcribed. This week, we are going to step back, and share a few tips from researchers into what makes for good quality audio that will be easy to hear and transcribe.   1. Phones aren’t good enough While many smartphones can now be used in a ‘voice memo’ mode to record

10 tips for semi-structured qualitative interviewing

Many qualitative researchers spend a lot of time interviewing participants, so here are some quick tips to make interviews go as smooth as possible: before, during and after!   1. Let your participants choose the location If you want your interviewees to be comfortable in sharing sometimes personal or sensitive information, make sure they can do it in a comfortable location. For some people, this might be their own house, or a neutral

An overview of qualitative methods

There are a lot of different ways to collect qualitative data, and this article just provides a brief summary of some of the main methods used in qualitative research. Each one is an art in its own right, with various different techniques, definitions, approaches and proponents. More on each one will follow in later articles, and it’s worth remembering that these need to be paired with the right questions, sampling, and analysis to get