Analysis of the Databases

Grouping the top cited articles 

The 150 top cited articles were organized by the following themes:

  • Articles about qualitative methods 
  • Articles that used qualitative methods

We focused on articles about qualitative methods.  This group was further divided into the following categories: 

  • Articles offering criteria for conducting high quality qualitative research or some how contributing to the discourse on this topic
  • Those that were "how to" pieces that addressed a qualitative method (e.g. interviewing, focus-groups) 
  • Those articles that were "how to" pieces that described a qualitative research strategy (e.g. sampling, analysis). 

All of the books and book chapters identified were about how to engage in qualitative research. although many of these books or chapters included criteria for identifying and conducting 'good' qualitative research.

Reading the Manuscripts

We had multiple aims when reviewing journal articles, books and book chapters:

  • To identify the terminology and debates novice readers would need to understand and to appreciate the criteria of 'good' qualitative research that would emerge from this analysis. 
  • To identify what highly cited authors identified as the features or criteria of high quality qualitative research. 

Over 30 books, 30 book chapters and 75 journal articles were read or carefully reviewed and discussed.  Within the medical and healthcare community, there was a high level of consensus among authors or experts regarding the criteria of 'good' qualitative research. 

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