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Book

Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research

It is important for qualitative studies to emulate the scientific method in striving for empirical groundedness, generalizability, and minimization of bias (Hammersly, 1992). Reliability and validity depend on the skills of the researcher. Questions concerning reliability and validity are associated with how reliable and valid the researcher's data collection and analysis are. Using research methods that ensure that the data recording is accurate and the interpretations of data are empirical and logical is important to increasing reliability and validity in qualitative studies. This chapter defines reliability and validity in the context of qualitative research. Methods are suggested for helping researchers to increase the reliability and validity of qualitative studies. A case example is presented illustrating how one social work researcher combined methods to increase reliability and validity in a qualitative research study. In science, reliability is concerned with the replicability and consistency of findings (Kirk & Miller, 1986; Rafuls & ...

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