Considerations of Quality in Phenomenographic Research

Samantha Sin*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In this paper the author considers issues of quality in phenomenographic research. Research rigor, which is traditionally evaluated by validity and reliability criteria, ensures that research findings reflect the object of study. Quality in research subsumes rigor and extends considerably beyond satisfying the criteria for rigor. A piece of research has to convince readers of its quality when evaluated against criteria that have been developed through contributions and agreements within the research community. This paper tackles the quality issue in phenomenographic research in three steps. First, criteria for quality in qualitative research are discussed. Second and drawing on the literature, related issues when the criteria are applied to phenomenographic studies and the ways of addressing the issues are examined. Finally, the phenomenographic process is analyzed and suggestions are made for enhancing quality at each stage of the process. New phenomenographic researchers especially will find this paper as a useful guide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-319
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

© 2010 Samantha Sin. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • phenomenography
  • qualitative research
  • research rigor
  • research quality
  • reliability
  • validity


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