Research quality

All research has limitations, which negatively impact upon the quality of the findings you arrive at from your data analysis. This is the case whether you are an undergraduate or master?s level student doing a dissertation, a doctoral student, or a seasoned academic researcher. Quite simply, the better the research quality of your dissertation, (a) the fewer problems you will experience when carrying out your dissertation research, (b) the less time you will need to write up the Research Limitations section of your Conclusions chapter (i.e., Chapter Five: Conclusions), and (c) the greater the likelihood of a high mark. Reducing such limitations involves (a) understanding the types of research limitation you may face when doing a dissertation, (b) anticipating what these will be in your dissertation, and (c) avoiding them becoming a reality (where possible).

Qualitative research designs are generally assessed in terms of their credibility, confirmability, dependability and transferability, amongst other factors. However, the research quality of quantitative research designs is determined in terms of their internal validity, external validity, construct validity, reliability and objectivity. In the article below, we also discuss content validity, convergent and divergent validity, and criterion validity (concurrent and predictive validity) because these are ways of assess the construct validity of the measurement procedures/research methods you used in your dissertation. In addition, since many undergraduate (and even master?s students) sometimes use little more than face validity, we discuss this also.

You will notice from the articles below that we focus on factors that are used to assess research quality in quantitative research designs. However, we plan to introduce guides to assess research quality in qualitative research designs in the not too distant future. If you would like to know when these guides become available, please leave feedback.