A Detail Guide for Ph.D. Students about Appraising Qualitative Research

Appraising qualitative research is the act of exploring the credibility, transferability, dependability, and conformability of facts and figures used to make a research paper. In simple words, appraisal of a study, either qualitative or quantitative research, is important to access the quality of information before using it in your research. The main task in this process is to identify what qualities make a study good or reliable to be used as evidence, depending upon the type of study you are conducting. By definition:

‘Critical appraisal is a process of systematically examining a qualitative piece of information to predict the truth worthiness, value, and relevance in a specific context.’

The method to appraise quantitative studies differs greatly from the methods ideal to deal with qualitative studies. For qualitative studies, there are several tools available that can help researchers in appraising the quality of information. Reading the research paper under observation must be the very first step in appraising qualitative research and making a final judgment is the last. However, there are several tools as well that can help you in doing so.

Appraising Qualitative Research- Importance in life and medical sciences:

Appraising qualitative research judges the quality of information before making it a part of the research, irrespective of the discipline. It is an important part of evidence-based medicinal studies. In health and medical sciences, qualitative research papers help researchers find treatments and diagnoses of emerging diseases. The published research and literature act as tools to find a solution to many medical problems; thus, appraising qualitative research is necessary. Decision-making using any information whose reliability is in doubt may have a drastic effect on society. Thus, the following is the comprehensive guide that a Ph.D. scholar can use to appraise a study.

Step # 1: Define the research problem of qualitative nature:

No matter whether you are conducting research to find a solution to a medical problem or searching the ways to improve employee retention policies, defining the research questions or problem must be among the preliminary steps. Concurrently, to appraising qualitative research, defining your area of interest must be the very first step.

Step # 2: Search the evidence:

Once you have a clear picture of the problem understudy, you must then move on to the selection of evidence. Evidence for your qualitative study may be any piece of information that either support or oppose your claim, though the claim must be logical and reliable. Searching for evidence is a step of appraising qualitative research, as every time when you make a decision, you must search for another piece of information, if accepted or rejected.

Step # 3: Appraise the information:

The literal meaning of the word appraisal is to see the world from your own point of view or to judge, evaluate, and validate the authenticity of a piece of information. Therefore, you have to ask a few sets of questions in order to judge the quality of the information. The following are a few questions that can help you in appraising qualitative research.

  1. Is the qualitative information relevant to the fact under discussion?
  2. Does the information add anything new to your studies?
  3. Whether you can use a piece of information as a supportive argument or counter-argument?
  4. What are the chances of potential bias associated with a writing piece of information?
  5. Do the data meet international quality standards?

All these questions can help you in appraising qualitative research. Additionally, if you take into consideration the background of the author of a research paper while assessing the information quality, then it will be a plus. To take this advantage, you must learn about research networking systems. If you are interested in learning Research Networking, you must get Dissertation Help Online UK.

Step # 4: Make a decision:

Once you get satisfied with all these aspects of appraising qualitative research, you will be in a position to finally take a valid decision about the quality of information. It is simply an act of including valid facts and figures, ensuring the penetration of valid information.

Step # 5: Make it a part of your study:

Lastly, make it a part of your qualitative research paper or dissertation by adding it in a systematic literature review and meta-analysis.

Final thoughts:

All in all, appraising qualitative research allows the researcher to reduce information overload. It gives them the opportunity to only include authentic and valid information. It helps assess the biasness, validity, and reliability for making assertions on only concrete basis. Thereby, by defining, searching for evidence, synthesizing, adapting, and evaluating the information, you can easily appraise data, especially for qualitative studies.

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