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Do you see what I see? Enhancement of rigour in qualitative approaches to inquiry: a systematic review of evidence

Eira Wyn Patterson (Institute of Education, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK)
Kerry Ball (Institute of Education, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK)
Jessica Corkish (Institute of Education, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK)
Isabella May Whittick (Institute of Education, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 2 November 2022

Issue publication date: 17 February 2023

544

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to synthesise current literature on the conceptualisation of rigour within qualitative studies and to identify factors which contribute to the enhancement of rigour for the practical implementation of qualitative research.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents an interpretivist stance in line with a qualitative approach to research. A systematic review method was adopted to provide a structured and rigorous selection of relevant literature. Data was analysed using a thematic synthesis method, as outlined by Thomas and Harden (2008).

Findings

The results of the thematic synthesis identified seven descriptive themes in the literature: conceptualising rigour, conceptualising truth and value in knowledge generation, participant trust and communication of truth, rigour in research design and implementation, subjectivity, reflexivity and researcher identity, reader confidence and transparency and strategies for enhancing rigour. These descriptive themes were further developed into three analytical themes: ethical co-construction, methodological alignment and multi-perspective interpretation.

Originality/value

This paper presents an interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of rigour in qualitative research. The themes identified are applicable across fields and provide an original application of thematic synthesis.

Keywords

Citation

Patterson, E.W., Ball, K., Corkish, J. and Whittick, I.M. (2023), "Do you see what I see? Enhancement of rigour in qualitative approaches to inquiry: a systematic review of evidence", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 164-180. https://doi.org/10.1108/QRJ-06-2022-0086

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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