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Handling Qualitative Data

Handling Qualitative Data
A Practical Guide

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:

February 2021 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Starting with what’s special about qualitative data, this book covers more than simply data collection. It guides you through skilfully, thoughtfully, and ethically designing a project, managing data, exploring records, creating and justifying sound theories, and reporting results in ways that will be heard.

With a positive and jargon-free style, it discusses how setting up, working with, making sense of and presenting data can be a springboard into learning key research skills and reflecting on methodological issues.  With even more material to help researchers navigate the practicalities of working with qualitative data, this edition includes:

  • ‘To do’ lists and annotated further reading suggestions to help establish ethical practice
  • Guidance on tackling emerging challenges in handling qualitative data, such as uses of visualisation and online data
  • Advice for communicating data to different audiences and writing a convincing research report
  • Online resources that illustrate effective qualitative research in action and aid researchers in their own work, including first-hand researcher accounts, qualitative analysis software support, step-by-step guidance on software use and visualising data, and examples of communicating real-world research effectively.

Part 1 Setting up
Chapter 1 Setting up your project
Chapter 2 Qualitative data
Chapter 3 Data records
Part 11 Working with the data
Chapter 4 Up from the data
Chapter 5 Coding
Chapter 6 Handling Ideas
Part III Making sense of your data
Chapter 7 What are you aiming for?
Chapter 8 Searching the data
Chapter 9 Seeing a whole
Part IV Telling your project
Chapter 10 Getting it together
Chapter 11 Writing the project report
Chapter 12 Telling it

This book provides helpful tips and easy-to-follow guidelines for carrying out rigorous qualitative data-collection and analyses. Lyn Richards’ straight to the point explanations of various techniques and methodological procedures can help novice students and seasoned researchers conduct systematic qualitative research.

Rudy Leyva
London School of Economics

Strengthening an already impressive publication, Richards has produced an excellent addition to the literature on qualitative research. The signposting of additional resources within the text allows readers to further hone their analytical skills. Written in an accessible format, I would recommend this to both experienced researchers and those beginning their research journey. 

Lyndsey Harris
University of Lincoln

This is a useful resource to support postgraduate students in their understanding of how to handle and analyse qualitative data.

Dr Michelle Addison
Department of Sociology, Durham University
April 5, 2022

An excellent introductory text which provides clear guidance for students who are new to qualitative research. I regularly refer first year PhD students who are new to qualitative research to this book as it is so accessibly written.

Dr Maureen Twiddy
Health, Hull York Medical School
October 21, 2022

This is a good, practical text, and researchers starting out in qualitative research will find the guidance helpful and easy to follow.

Dr Francois van Loggerenberg
Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford
September 23, 2021

Handling qualitative research is often something students struggle with, particularly at under-graduate level but often also at graduate level where at times it is a more prevalent method of choice. This dedicated book takes the student through the process from concept through design to eventual delivery of a quality research output. I highly recommend this text.

Dr Ciaran McAleenan
School of the Built Environment (Jordanstown Campus), Ulster University
April 13, 2021

This is a very good read for postgraduate students. It gives them clear guidance and examples and has excellent further reading suggestions.

Ms Melody Harrogate
Education, Health and Sciences, Derby University
May 4, 2021