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Qual Health Res. 2000 Sep;10(5):703-7.

Avoiding common pitfalls in qualitative data collection and transcription.

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Valparaiso University, IN 46383, USA.


The subjective nature of qualitative research necessitates scrupulous scientific methods to ensure valid results. Although qualitative methods such as grounded theory, phenomenology, and ethnography yield rich data, consumers of research need to be able to trust the findings reported in such studies. Researchers are responsible for establishing the trustworthiness of qualitative research through a variety of ways. Specific challenges faced in the field can seriously threaten the dependability of the data. However, by minimizing potential errors that can occur when doing fieldwork, researchers can increase the trustworthiness of the study. The purpose of this article is to present three of the pitfalls that can occur in qualitative research during data collection and transcription: equipment failure, environmental hazards, and transcription errors. Specific strategies to minimize the risk for avoidable errors will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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