Part 1: The Nature of Qualitative Inquiry
Question #1: What is qualitative research?
Question #2: What disciplines use qualitative approaches and are there differences in disciplinary approach?
Question #3: Is qualitative research used in practice or only in academic research?
Question #4: My supervisor says that quantitative research is more objective, so it’s better than qualitative research. Is that true?
Question #5: What is the difference between ‘ontology’ and ‘epistemology’ and why do they matter?
Question #6: I've heard that qualitative research is more inductive rather than deductive – what does that mean?
Question #7: What is the difference between a project designed with a qualitative ‘paradigm’ and one designed only to gather qualitative ‘data’?
Question #8: What is the difference between quantitative positivism and qualitative constructionism?
Question #9: Qualitative research seems to always involve people – is that true?
Question #10: What is the difference between a research ‘participant’ and a research ‘subject’?
Question #11: My ‘participants’ are really co-researchers in my work – so what are the implications for my project?
Question #12: What kind of education or training do I need to conduct qualitative research?
Question #13: What kind of time investment is needed for a qualitative research study?
Question #14: Qualitative research seems to be more expensive to do than other types of research – is that so?
Question #15: What are the limitations of qualitative research?
Part 2: Ethical Issues in Qualitative Research
Question #16: What are the researcher's ethical responsibilities in qualitative practice?
Question #17: At what stage of the research do I need to get formal ethics review to talk to people?
Question #18: What kinds of ethics challenges do qualitative researchers face, typically?
Question #19: Ethics approval seems to be more difficult to obtain for qualitative projects. Is that true?
Question #20: Can I name my participants and their organization in publications about my study?
Question #21 - I’m going to do focus groups and I know I’ll need ethics approval for those – but can I examine postings to social media without seeking ethics approval?
Question #22: Can I show my colleague some transcripts and let her listen to interview recordings to get advice on my interpretation of the data?
Question #23: The ethics review board requires me to submit my interview questions – but the project is exploratory and the questions will emerge as the interview happens. What types of questions should I submit for review?
Question #24: The ethics review board says I have to destroy my data, but I think my analysis will take years. Do I have to destroy everything?
Question #25: I have learned negative things about people in the setting I’m studying. How do I deal with this?
Question #26: My ethics approval says that I have to let the board know if there are ‘significant changes’ to my methodology and/or method. As my qualitative study is exploratory and emergent in design, how do I know when a significant change has occurre
Question #27: One of my participants told other people that she was involved in my study, even though I promised I would not identify her. Is this a problem?
Part 3: Designing Qualitative Research
Question #28: What is a qualitative research problem – and how does this inform the development of research questions?
Question #29 = What is the role of an hypothesis in qualitative research?
Question #30: What is an exploratory qualitative design? If I do this, does it mean that my research isn’t going to come up with ‘usable’ findings?
Question #31: What is an emergent qualitative design?
Question #32: What is the role of a theoretical and/or conceptual framework in a qualitative study?
Question #33: How extensive should my literature review be when I’m designing my project?
Question #34: What kinds of sampling approaches are appropriate for qualitative studies?
Question #35: Why are sample sizes so small in many qualitative studies? Isn't this a problem?
Question #36: What is the ideal sample size for a qualitative project?
Question #37: How do you recruit participants for a qualitative study?
Question #38: I really want to use focus groups, so how can I design a project that will use that method?
Question #39 – What is Triangulation?
Part 4: Ensuring Rigor in Qualitative Research Design
Question #40: I’ve heard that quantitative research is more rigorous than qualitative research – is that true?
Question #41: What are effective strategies for promoting trustworthiness?
Question #42: I’ve heard that qualitative studies suffer from researcher bias. How do I deal with this criticism?
Question #43: Can the findings from qualitative research be generalized? I’ve heard they can be transferable, but I don’t know the differences between these terms.
Question #44: How do I ensure that my study will have an impact on other scholars or practitioners?
Question #45: What are useful and practical approaches to ensure that I am gathering good data?
Part 5: Methodologies and Methods
Question #46: What are the differences between qualitative ‘design,’ ‘methodology’ and ‘method’?
Question #47: All the studies I’ve read seem to use interviews. What other methods can I use to make my study more interesting?
Question #48: I don't understand the differences between grounded theory, phenomenology, case study, ethnography, narrative inquiry, etc. Can I combine these – or choose not to use one of these approaches, at all?
Question #49: What kinds of research methods are appropriate for talking with people?
Question #50: What are the pros and cons of conducting individual vs. group interviews?
Question #51: I want to observe what people are doing, but I don’t want them to know that I’m watching. Can I do that?
Question #52: How can I use documents in my qualitative study?
Question #53: I’ve heard that there are some interesting visual methods that I can use – what are they?
Question #54: In my discipline we conduct a lot of systematic reviews of the literature. Is it possible to do a qualitative systematic review?
Part 6: Mixed Methods Research Involving Qualitative Approaches
Question #55: I’ve heard that qualitative research is only useful as a first, exploratory step to designing a quantitative project – is that true?
Question #56: How can qualitative research complement a quantitative study?
Question #57: Which do I do first – the qualitative component of the study, or the quantitative component?
Question #58: I have included some open-ended questions alongside the closed-response items on my survey/questionnaire. Am I conducting qualitative research?
Question #59: Is it better to bring a qualitative researcher onto my team, or should I try to do the qualitative research myself?
Question #60: I’ve only ever used quantitative designs but I want to use qualitative approaches now – what are the key issues I need to consider and how can I learn more about them?
Part 7: Collecting Qualitative Data
Question #61: How do I conduct a pilot study for my qualitative research project?
Question #62 – My colleague says that we need to be unobtrusive when gathering data – what does that mean?
Question #63: Can I hire someone to do all of the data collection?
Question #64: What does it mean to be ‘neutral’ when I’m gathering my data?
Question #65: What does ‘fieldwork’ involve in a qualitative project?
Question #66: What does it mean to gather ‘rich data’?
Question #67: Do I have to transcribe all of my interview data or can I simply transcribe a few quotes when I need them?
Question #68: What are the pros and cons of audio or video recording my participants?
Question #69: Qualitative research seems to involve a lot of talking to people. Sounds easy – so what issues should I expect if I’m doing formal or informal interviews, with individuals or groups?
Question #70: Do I have to work with my participants in person, or can I use the Internet (or other tools) to gather data at a distance?
Question #71: There are many interviews and other potential sources of data online, including peoples’ quotes posted to social media and websites. Can I use these in my qualitative study?
Question #72: I see that some qualitative studies use participant-generated photographs, drawings, and other arts-based approaches. When is it appropriate to use these kinds of methods for gathering data?
Question #73: I have a lot of data – dozens of digital data files, hundreds of pages of printed transcripts, and hours of video-recordings. How can I manage all of this material?
Question #74: How do I know when I’ve reached saturation of themes in my data?
Question #75: My colleague says that there are many ‘lost opportunities’ in his dataset. What does that mean?
Question #76: I’m trying to select the best site for conducting individual interviews, so how do I choose?
Part 8: Conducting Qualitative Analysis
Question #77: Do I have to wait until my data collection is done before I can start analyzing my data?
Question #78: My supervisor says I should use an interpretive lens for my analysis – what does this mean?
Question #79: What is the process for ‘coding’ my dataset? Can I borrow someone else’s codebook to get me started?
Question #80: What is the difference between ‘themes,’ ‘codes’ and ‘categories’?
Question #81: Does the person who gathered the data have to be the person who codes and analyzes those data?
Question #82: I’ve heard data analysis described as an iterative process of coding. What does that mean?
Question #83: How can I use a team to code data?
Question #84: Do qualitative researchers count things in their data, or is this only done in quantitative research?
Question #85: Will using a qualitative data analysis software package improve the quality of my results?
Question #86: What is the best software package to use for qualitative data analysis?
Question #87: Does it matter if someone else interprets my results in a different way?
Question #88: I have anomalous data. Is this a problem?
Question #89: I’ve heard that I need to immerse myself in the data during analysis, but I have a full-time job. How much time do I need to devote to this process?
Question #90: My analysis seems to raise more questions than answers, so what do I do about this?
Part 9: Writing Qualitative Research
Question #91: How do I present my findings so that they reflect both my analysis and the participants’ voices?
Question #92 - I’ve assigned my participants numbers (to anonymize them in the writing) but now my supervisor says I should give them pseudonyms, instead. Which approach is best?
Question #93 - My supervisor says I should ‘give voice’ to my research participants in my writing – what does that mean?
Question #94: I have some pictures, audio-recordings and other multimedia data, so how can I include these in publications?
Question #95: Journal articles in my discipline are limited in length, so how can I present my results in a succinct way while providing enough detail to support my arguments?
Question #96: I have a lot of data and I’m struggling to fit everything into one paper! How can I write up my results in a single research report?
Question #97: Qualitative research reports are published in many formats and styles, ranging from traditional (i.e., with results, discussion and conclusions) to progressive (e.g., narrative short stories, poetry, plays). Which approach should I choose f
Question #98: What kind of audience reads qualitative research reports, typically?
Question #99: My data are just interview transcripts and other texts, so how can I present my findings in a visual poster presentation?
Question #100: Should I send copies of my publications to my participants?