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Writing a qualitative research report


A research project in nursing or nursing education is probably only complete once the findings have been published. This paper offers a format for writing a qualitative research report for publication. It suggests, at least, the following sections: introduction, aims of the study, review of the literature, sample, data collection methods, data analysis methods, findings, discussion, conclusion, abstract. Each of these sections is addressed along with many written-out examples. In some sections, alternative approaches are suggested. The aim of the paper is to help the neophyte researcher to structure his or her report and for the experienced researcher to reflect on his or her current practice. References to other source material on qualitative research are given.

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How to Write a Qualitative Report

A qualitative report is a description of an event, activity, observation, research or experience. The structure of a qualitative report includes an abstract, introduction, background to the problem, the researcher's role, theoretical perspective, methodology, ethical considerations, results, data analysis, limitations, discussion, conclusions and implications, references and appendix. Choice of words and visual aids depends on intended audience. Be concise and use the past tense.

Summarize the report briefly. Include subject matter, research question and purpose. Briefly state data collection methods, rationale and interpretation. (Abstract)

State your research question, problem leading to the study and purpose for the study. Identify the research approach, participants and research location. The introduction should give a clear idea of reason, method and significance for intended audience of the report. (Introduction)

Give a brief history of the problem. Describe participants, research site/location, and subject matter. Use established sources, previous studies and support with statistics where possible. (Background to the Problem)

State your or the researcher's relationship to the participants and past experiences and how these may affect perceptions and interpretations, hinder objectivity or enhance understanding, awareness, knowledge and sensitivity to issues and contexts studied. (The Researcher's Role)

State the theory, theme or lens through which the study was guided. Cite authentic sources, theorists or past studies. (Theoretical Perspective)

Describe the method of selection of participants (sampling) and research setting. State the method of gathering data---face-to-face structured/unstructured interviews, questionnaires, focus group discussion, participant observation, document analysis. Explain how instruments were developed, observations recorded and rationale for chosen methods. (Methodology)

Explain steps taken, prior to the research, to inform participants of data collection activities and the proposed use of findings. Describe steps taken to respect the rights of participants, get their consent, gain permission for the research site and ensure confidentiality of participants' information. (Ethical Considerations)

Present findings in a visually appealing manner at a level that your audience can readily understand. Use tables, graphs and charts if necessary. Do not include interpretations in this section. (Results)

Interpret data presented. Describe data analysis process and computer programs. Use graphs and charts as necessary. Support important interpretations with evidence and diverse quotes if applicable. (Data Analysis)

Show how the boundaries of the sample, research site, timing, methodology and/or analysis limited results. (Limitations)

Write a descriptive narrative around interpretations and research question(s). Use illustrations such as quotes from participants and analytic evidence to support arguments. Use literature review of past studies and relevant theory to compare if necessary. Pose new questions if data suggests unforeseen results. (Discussion)

State main conclusions in relation to research question(s) and purpose of the study. Include how results relate to theoretical perspectives. Add main discussion points and questions for future research. (Conclusions and Implications)

Write a reference list using appropriate style such as the American Psychological Association (A.P.A.) style. Include all citations. Be accurate and precise. A reader must be able to locate your sources. (References)

Include extra data sets and diagrams illustrating analysis. Add permission letters and a sample of participants' consent forms. Block out names of persons and institutions. (Appendix)

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A travel writer for over 10 years, Seeta Shah Roath features economic reviews, investment opportunities, history, culture and tourism in different countries. She has a Doctoral degree in education from the University of Phoenix and a passion for e-learning. Her articles appear in Washington Times Global and Examiner.com.


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Top 10 Qualitative Research Report Templates with Samples and Examples

Top 10 Qualitative Research Report Templates with Samples and Examples

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought, ” said Hungarian biochemist and Nobel laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who discovered Vitamin C. This fabulous statement on research as a human endeavor reminds us that execution matters, of course, but the solid pillar of research that backs it is invaluable as well.

Here’s an example to illustrate this in action.

Have you ever wondered what makes Oprah Winfrey a successful businesswoman? It's her research abilities. Oprah might not have been as successful as a news anchor and television show host if she hadn't done her exploratory research on key topics and public figures. Additionally, without the research and development that went into the internet, there was no way that you could be reading this post right now. Research is an essential tool for understanding the intricacies of many topics and advancing knowledge.

Businesses in the modern world are, increasingly, based on research. Within research too, the qualitative world of non-numerical observations, data, and impactful insights is what business owners are most interested in. This is not to say that numbers or empirical research is not important. It is, of course, one of the founding blocks of business.

In this blog, however, we focus on qualitative research PPT Templates that help you move forward and get on the profitable highway and take the best decisions for your business.

These presentation templates are 100% customizable, and editable. Use these to leave a lasting impact on your audience and get recall for your business value offering.

Top 10 Qualitative Research Report Templates

The goal of qualitative research methods is to monitor market trends and attitudes through surveys, analyses, historical research, and open-ended interviews. It helps interpret and comprehend human behavior using data. With the use of qualitative market research services, you may get access to the appropriate data that could help you make decisions.

After finishing the research portion of your assignment effectively, you'll need a captivating way to present your findings to your audience. Here, SlideTeam's qualitative research report templates come in handy. Our top ten qualitative research templates will help you effectively communicate your message. Let’s start a tour of this universe.

Template 1 : Qualitative Research Proposal Template PowerPoint Presentation Slides

For the reader to understand your research proposal, you must have well-structured PPT slides. Don't worry, SlideTeam has you covered. Our pre-made research proposal template presentation slides have no learning curve. This implies that any user may rapidly create a powerful professional research proposal presentation using our PPT slides. Download these PowerPoint slides in a way that will convince your reviewers to accept your strategy.

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Template 2 : Qualitative Research Powerpoint PPT Template Bundles

You may have observed that some brands have taken the place of generic words for comparable products in our language.  Even though we are aware that Band-Aid is a brand, we always ask for Band-Aid whenever we require a plastic bandage. The power of branding is quite astounding. This is the benefit that our next PPT template bundles will provide for your business. Potential customers will find it simpler to recognize your brand and correctly associate it with a certain good or service because of our platform-independent PowerPoint Slides. Download now!

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Template 3 : Qualitative Research Interviewing Presentation Deck

Do you find it hard to handle challenging conversations at work? Then, you may conduct effective interviews employing this PowerPoint presentation. Our presentation on qualitative research interviews aimed to "give voice" to the subjects. It provides details on interviews, information, research, participant, and study methodologies. Download this PowerPoint Presentation if you need to introduce yourself effectively during a quick visual communication.

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Template 4 : Thematic Analysis Qualitative Research PPT PowerPoint Presentation Outline Rules CPB

Thematic analysis is a technique used in qualitative research to arrive at  hidden patterns and other inferences based on a theme. Any research can employ our Thematic analysis qualitative research PPT. By using all the features of this adaptable PPT, you may convey information well. By including the proper icons and symbols, this presentation can be improved as an instructional tool and opened on any platform. Download now!

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Template 5 : Comparative Analysis of Qualitative Research Methods

Conducting a successful comparison analysis is essential if you or your company wants to make sure that your decision-making process is efficient. With the help of our comparative analysis of qualitative research techniques, you can make choices that work for both your company and your clients. Focus Group Interviews, Cognitive Mapping, Critical Incident Technique, Verbal Protocol, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Research Scope, and Objective are covered in this extensive series of slides. Download today to carry out efficient business operations.

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Template 6 : Five-Type of Qualitative Research Designs

Your business can achieve significant results with the help of our five  qualitative research design types. Given that it incorporates layers of case studies, phenomenology, historical studies, and action research, it qualifies as a full-fledged presentation. Download this presentation template to perform an objective, open-ended technique and to carefully consider probable sources of errors.

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Template 7 : Key Phases for the Qualitative Research Process

Any attempt at qualitative research, no matter how small, must follow the prescribed procedures. The key stages of the qualitative research method are combined in this pre-made PPT template. This set of slides covers data analysis, research approach, research design, research aim, issue description, research questions, philosophical assumptions, data collecting, and result interpretation. Get it now.

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Template 8 : Thematic Analysis of Qualitative Research Data

Thematic analysis is performed on the raw data that is acquired through focus groups, interviews, surveys, etc. We go over each and every critical step in our slides on thematic analysis of qualitative research data, including how to uncover codes, identify themes in the data, finalize topics, explore each theme, and analyze documents. This completely editable PowerPoint presentation is available for instant download.

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Template 9 : Swot Analysis of Qualitative Research Approach

Use this PowerPoint set to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing your company. Each slide comes with a unique tool that may be utilized to strengthen your areas of weakness, grasp opportunities, and lessen risks. This template can be used to collect statistics, add your own information, and then begin considering how you might get better.

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Template 10 : Qualitative Research through Graph Showing Revenue Growth

A picture truly is worth a thousand words even when it comes to summarizing your research's findings. Researchers encounter an unavoidable issue when presenting qualitative study data; to address this challenge, Slide Team has created a user-responsive Graph Showing Revenue Growth template. This slideshow graph could help you make informed decisions and encourage your company's growth.

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Template 11 : Qualitative Research Data Collection Approaches and Implications

Like blood moving through the circulatory system, data moves through an organization. Businesses cannot run without data. The first step in making better decisions is gathering data. This presentation template includes all the elements necessary to create a successful business plan, from data collection to analysis of the best method to comprehend concepts, opinions, or experiences. Get it now.

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Template 12 : Qualitative Research Analysis of Comments with Magnify Glass

The first step in performing a qualitative analysis of your data is gathering all the comments and feedback you want to look at. Our templates help you document those comments. These slides are fully editable and contain a visual accessibility function. The organization and formatting of the sections are excellent. Download it now.

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PS For more information on qualitative and quantitative data analysis, as well as to determine which type of market research is best for your company, check out this blog.

FAQs on Qualitative Research 

Writing a qualitative research report.

A qualitative report is a summary of an experience, activity, event, or observation. The format of a qualitative report includes an abstract, introduction, background information on the issue, the researcher's role, theoretical viewpoint, methodology, ethical considerations, results, data analysis, limitations, discussion, conclusions, implications, references, and an appendix. A qualitative research report requires extensive detail and is typically divided into several sections. These start with the title, a table of contents, and an abstract; these form the beginning. Then, the meat of a qualitative report comprises an introduction, the literature review, an account of investigation, findings, discussion, and conclusions. The final section is references.

How do you Report Data in Qualitative Research?

A qualitative research report is frequently built around themes. You should be aware that it can be difficult to express qualitative findings as thoroughly as they deserve. It is customary to use direct quotes from sources like interviews to support the viewpoint. To develop a precise description or explanation of the primary theme being studied, it is also crucial to clarify concepts and connect them. There is the need to state about design, which is how were the subject choices made, leading through other steps to documenting that how the researcher verified the research’s findings/results.

What is an Example of a Report of Qualitative Data?

Qualitative data are categorical by nature. Reports that use qualitative data make it easier to present complex information. The semi-structured interview is one of the best illustrations of a qualitative data collection technique that provides open-ended responses from informants while allowing researchers to ask questions based on a set of predetermined themes. Since they enable both inductive and deductive evaluative reasoning, these are crucial tools for qualitative research.

How do you write an Introduction for a Qualitative Report?

A qualitative report must have a strong introduction. In this section, the researcher emphasizes the aims and objectives of the methodical study. It also addresses the problem that the systematic study aims to solve. In this section, it's imperative to state whether the research's goals were met. The researcher goes into further depth about the research problem in the introduction part and discusses the need for a methodical enquiry. The researcher must define any technical words or phrases used.

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Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research: A Synthesis of Recommendations : Academic Medicine

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Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research

A synthesis of recommendations.

O’Brien, Bridget C. PhD; Harris, Ilene B. PhD; Beckman, Thomas J. MD; Reed, Darcy A. MD, MPH; Cook, David A. MD, MHPE

Dr. O’Brien is assistant professor, Department of Medicine and Office of Research and Development in Medical Education, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California.

Dr. Harris is professor and head, Department of Medical Education, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. Beckman is professor of medicine and medical education, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Reed is associate professor of medicine and medical education, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.

Dr. Cook is associate director, Mayo Clinic Online Learning, research chair, Mayo Multidisciplinary Simulation Center, and professor of medicine and medical education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.

Funding/Support: This study was funded in part by a research review grant from the Society for Directors of Research in Medical Education.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Disclaimer: The funding agency had no role in the study design, analysis, interpretation, writing of the manuscript, or decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Supplemental digital content for this article is available at https://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A218 .

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. O’Brien, Office of Research and Development in Medical Education, UCSF School of Medicine, Box 3202, 1855 Folsom St., Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94143-3202; e-mail: [email protected] .


Standards for reporting exist for many types of quantitative research, but currently none exist for the broad spectrum of qualitative research. The purpose of the present study was to formulate and define standards for reporting qualitative research while preserving the requisite flexibility to accommodate various paradigms, approaches, and methods.


The authors identified guidelines, reporting standards, and critical appraisal criteria for qualitative research by searching PubMed, Web of Science, and Google through July 2013; reviewing the reference lists of retrieved sources; and contacting experts. Specifically, two authors reviewed a sample of sources to generate an initial set of items that were potentially important in reporting qualitative research. Through an iterative process of reviewing sources, modifying the set of items, and coding all sources for items, the authors prepared a near-final list of items and descriptions and sent this list to five external reviewers for feedback. The final items and descriptions included in the reporting standards reflect this feedback.


The Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR) consists of 21 items. The authors define and explain key elements of each item and provide examples from recently published articles to illustrate ways in which the standards can be met.


The SRQR aims to improve the transparency of all aspects of qualitative research by providing clear standards for reporting qualitative research. These standards will assist authors during manuscript preparation, editors and reviewers in evaluating a manuscript for potential publication, and readers when critically appraising, applying, and synthesizing study findings.

Qualitative research contributes to the literature in many disciplines by describing, interpreting, and generating theories about social interactions and individual experiences as they occur in natural, rather than experimental, situations. 1–3 Some recent examples include studies of professional dilemmas, 4 medical students’ early experiences of workplace learning, 5 patients’ experiences of disease and interventions, 6–8 and patients’ perspectives about incident disclosures. 9 The purpose of qualitative research is to understand the perspectives/experiences of individuals or groups and the contexts in which these perspectives or experiences are situated. 1 , 2 , 10

Qualitative research is increasingly common and valued in the medical and medical education literature. 1 , 10–13 However, the quality of such research can be difficult to evaluate because of incomplete reporting of key elements. 14 , 15 Quality is multifaceted and includes consideration of the importance of the research question, the rigor of the research methods, the appropriateness and salience of the inferences, and the clarity and completeness of reporting. 16 , 17 Although there is much debate about standards for methodological rigor in qualitative research, 13 , 14 , 18–20 there is widespread agreement about the need for clear and complete reporting. 14 , 21 , 22 Optimal reporting would enable editors, reviewers, other researchers, and practitioners to critically appraise qualitative studies and apply and synthesize the results. One important step in improving the quality of reporting is to formulate and define clear reporting standards.

Authors have proposed guidelines for the quality of qualitative research, including those in the fields of medical education, 23–25 clinical and health services research, 26–28 and general education research. 29 , 30 Yet in nearly all cases, the authors do not describe how the guidelines were created, and often fail to distinguish reporting quality from the other facets of quality (e.g., the research question or methods). Several authors suggest standards for reporting qualitative research, 15 , 20 , 29–33 but their articles focus on a subset of qualitative data collection methods (e.g., interviews), fail to explain how the authors developed the reporting criteria, narrowly construe qualitative research (e.g., thematic analysis) in ways that may exclude other approaches, and/or lack specific examples to help others see how the standards might be achieved. Thus, there remains a compelling need for defensible and broadly applicable standards for reporting qualitative research.

We designed and carried out the present study to formulate and define standards for reporting qualitative research through a rigorous synthesis of published articles and expert recommendations.

We formulated standards for reporting qualitative research by using a rigorous and systematic approach in which we reviewed previously proposed recommendations by experts in qualitative methods. Our research team consisted of two PhD researchers and one physician with formal training and experience in qualitative methods, and two physicians with experience, but no formal training, in qualitative methods.

We first identified previously proposed recommendations by searching PubMed, Web of Science, and Google using combinations of terms such as “qualitative methods,” “qualitative research,” “qualitative guidelines,” “qualitative standards,” and “critical appraisal” and by reviewing the reference lists of retrieved sources, reviewing the Equator Network, 22 and contacting experts. We conducted our first search in January 2007 and our last search in July 2013. Most recommendations were published in peer-reviewed journals, but some were available only on the Internet, and one was an interim draft from a national organization. We report the full set of the 40 sources reviewed in Supplemental Digital Appendix 1, found at https://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A218 .

Two of us (B.O., I.H.) reviewed an initial sample of sources to generate a comprehensive list of items that were potentially important in reporting qualitative research (Draft A). All of us then worked in pairs to review all sources and code the presence or absence of each item in a given source. From Draft A, we then distilled a shorter list (Draft B) by identifying core concepts and combining related items, taking into account the number of times each item appeared in these sources. We then compared the items in Draft B with material in the original sources to check for missing concepts, modify accordingly, and add explanatory definitions to create a prefinal list of items (Draft C).

We circulated Draft C to five experienced qualitative researchers (see the acknowledgments) for review. We asked them to note any omitted or redundant items and to suggest improvements to the wording to enhance clarity and relevance across a broad spectrum of qualitative inquiry. In response to their reviews, we consolidated some items and made minor revisions to the wording of labels and definitions to create the final set of reporting standards—the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SRQR)—summarized in Table 1 .


To explicate how the final set of standards reflect the material in the original sources, two of us (B.O., D.A.C.) selected by consensus the 25 most complete sources of recommendations and identified which standards reflected the concepts found in each original source (see Table 2 ).


The SRQR is a list of 21 items that we consider essential for complete, transparent reporting of qualitative research (see Table 1 ). As explained above, we developed these items through a rigorous synthesis of prior recommendations and concepts from published sources (see Table 2 ; see also Supplemental Digital Appendix 1, found at https://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A218 ) and expert review. These 21 items provide a framework and recommendations for reporting qualitative studies. Given the wide range of qualitative approaches and methodologies, we attempted to select items with broad relevance.

The SRQR includes the article’s title and abstract (items 1 and 2); problem formulation and research question (items 3 and 4); research design and methods of data collection and analysis (items 5 through 15); results, interpretation, discussion, and integration (items 16 through 19); and other information (items 20 and 21). Supplemental Digital Appendix 2, found at https://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A218 , contains a detailed explanation of each item, along with examples from recently published qualitative studies. Below, we briefly describe the standards, with a particular focus on those unique to qualitative research.

Titles, abstracts, and introductory material. Reporting standards for titles, abstracts, and introductory material (problem formulation, research question) in qualitative research are very similar to those for quantitative research, except that the results reported in the abstract are narrative rather than numerical, and authors rarely present a specific hypothesis. 29 , 30

Research design and methods. Reporting on research design and methods of data collection and analysis highlights several distinctive features of qualitative research. Many of the criteria we reviewed focus not only on identifying and describing all aspects of the methods (e.g., approach, researcher characteristics and role, sampling strategy, context, data collection and analysis) but also on justifying each choice. 13 , 14 This ensures that authors make their assumptions and decisions transparent to readers. This standard is less commonly expected in quantitative research, perhaps because most quantitative researchers share positivist assumptions and generally agree about standards for rigor of various study designs and sampling techniques. 14 Just as quantitative reporting standards encourage authors to describe how they implemented methods such as randomization and measurement validity, several qualitative reporting criteria recommend that authors describe how they implemented a presumably familiar technique in their study rather than simply mentioning the technique. 10 , 14 , 32 For example, authors often state that data collection occurred until saturation, with no mention of how they defined and recognized saturation. Similarly, authors often mention an “iterative process,” with minimal description of the nature of the iterations. The SRQR emphasizes the importance of explaining and elaborating on these important processes. Nearly all of the original sources recommended describing the characteristics and role of the researcher (i.e., reflexivity). Members of the research team often form relationships with participants, and analytic processes are highly interpretive in most qualitative research. Therefore, reviewers and readers must understand how these relationships and the researchers’ perspectives and assumptions influenced data collection and interpretation. 15 , 23 , 26 , 34

Results. Reporting of qualitative research results should identify the main analytic findings. Often, these findings involve interpretation and contextualization, which represent a departure from the tradition in quantitative studies of objectively reporting results. The presentation of results often varies with the specific qualitative approach and methodology; thus, rigid rules for reporting qualitative findings are inappropriate. However, authors should provide evidence (e.g., examples, quotes, or text excerpts) to substantiate the main analytic findings. 20 , 29

Discussion. The discussion of qualitative results will generally include connections to existing literature and/or theoretical or conceptual frameworks, the scope and boundaries of the results (transferability), and study limitations. 10–12 , 28 In some qualitative traditions, the results and discussion may not have distinct boundaries; we recommend that authors include the substance of each item regardless of the section in which it appears.

The purpose of the SRQR is to improve the quality of reporting of qualitative research studies. We hope that these 21 recommended reporting standards will assist authors during manuscript preparation, editors and reviewers in evaluating a manuscript for potential publication, and readers when critically appraising, applying, and synthesizing study findings. As with other reporting guidelines, 35–37 we anticipate that the SRQR will evolve as it is applied and evaluated in practice. We welcome suggestions for refinement.

Qualitative studies explore “how?” and “why?” questions related to social or human problems or phenomena. 10 , 38 Purposes of qualitative studies include understanding meaning from participants’ perspectives (How do they interpret or make sense of an event, situation, or action?); understanding the nature and influence of the context surrounding events or actions; generating theories about new or poorly understood events, situations, or actions; and understanding the processes that led to a desired (or undesired) outcome. 38 Many different approaches (e.g., ethnography, phenomenology, discourse analysis, case study, grounded theory) and methodologies (e.g., interviews, focus groups, observation, analysis of documents) may be used in qualitative research, each with its own assumptions and traditions. 1 , 2 A strength of many qualitative approaches and methodologies is the opportunity for flexibility and adaptability throughout the data collection and analysis process. We endeavored to maintain that flexibility by intentionally defining items to avoid favoring one approach or method over others. As such, we trust that the SRQR will support all approaches and methods of qualitative research by making reports more explicit and transparent, while still allowing investigators the flexibility to use the study design and reporting format most appropriate to their study. It may be helpful, in the future, to develop approach-specific extensions of the SRQR, as has been done for guidelines in quantitative research (e.g., the CONSORT extensions). 37

Limitations, strengths, and boundaries

We deliberately avoided recommendations that define methodological rigor, and therefore it would be inappropriate to use the SRQR to judge the quality of research methods and findings. Many of the original sources from which we derived the SRQR were intended as criteria for methodological rigor or critical appraisal rather than reporting; for these, we inferred the information that would be needed to evaluate the criterion. Occasionally, we found conflicting recommendations in the literature (e.g., recommending specific techniques such as multiple coders or member checking to demonstrate trustworthiness); we resolved these conflicting recommendations through selection of the most frequent recommendations and by consensus among ourselves.

Some qualitative researchers have described the limitations of checklists as a means to improve methodological rigor. 13 We nonetheless believe that a checklist for reporting standards will help to enhance the transparency of qualitative research studies and thereby advance the field. 29 , 39

Strengths of this work include the grounding in previously published criteria, the diversity of experience and perspectives among us, and critical review by experts in three countries.

Implications and application

Similar to other reporting guidelines, 35–37 the SRQR may be viewed as a starting point for defining reporting standards in qualitative research. Although our personal experience lies in health professions education, the SRQR is based on sources originating in diverse health care and non-health-care fields. We intentionally crafted the SRQR to include various paradigms, approaches, and methodologies used in qualitative research. The elaborations offered in Supplemental Digital Appendix 2 (see https://links.lww.com/ACADMED/A218 ) should provide sufficient description and examples to enable both novice and experienced researchers to use these standards. Thus, the SRQR should apply broadly across disciplines, methodologies, topics, study participants, and users.

The SRQR items reflect information essential for inclusion in a qualitative research report, but should not be viewed as prescribing a rigid format or standardized content. Individual study needs, author preferences, and journal requirements may necessitate a different sequence or organization than that shown in Table 1 . Journal word restrictions may prevent a full exposition of each item, and the relative importance of a given item will vary by study. Thus, although all 21 standards would ideally be reflected in any given report, authors should prioritize attention to those items that are most relevant to the given study, findings, context, and readership.

Application of the SRQR need not be limited to the writing phase of a given study. These standards can assist researchers in planning qualitative studies and in the careful documentation of processes and decisions made throughout the study. By considering these recommendations early on, researchers may be more likely to identify the paradigm and approach most appropriate to their research, consider and use strategies for ensuring trustworthiness, and keep track of procedures and decisions.

Journal editors can facilitate the review process by providing the SRQR to reviewers and applying its standards, thus establishing more explicit expectations for qualitative studies. Although the recommendations do not address or advocate specific approaches, methods, or quality standards, they do help reviewers identify information that is missing from manuscripts.

As authors and editors apply the SRQR, readers will have more complete information about a given study, thus facilitating judgments about the trustworthiness, relevance, and transferability of findings to their own context and/or to related literature. Complete reporting will also facilitate meaningful synthesis of qualitative results across studies. 40 We anticipate that such transparency will, over time, help to identify previously unappreciated gaps in the rigor and relevance of research findings. Investigators, editors, and educators can then work to remedy these deficiencies and, thereby, enhance the overall quality of qualitative research.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank Margaret Bearman, PhD, Calvin Chou, MD, PhD, Karen Hauer, MD, Ayelet Kuper, MD, DPhil, Arianne Teherani, PhD, and participants in the UCSF weekly educational scholarship works-in-progress group (ESCape) for critically reviewing the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research.

References Cited Only in Table 2

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Since the publication of the last journal AQR has held its third international conference in July in Sydney, 2003. The theme of the conference was Creating Spaces for Understanding: Blurring Boundaries of Lands and People. As noted in the welcome message to the conference from the President of AQR, Supriya Singh, the association was delighted to see the conference move from Melbourne to Sydney under the able guidance of Professor Joy Higgs, conference convenor.

Nick Schuermans

Health Education Research

Diane Crone

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