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What Are 5 Standards of Critiquing Qualitative Research Designs?

by JonathanNaylor

Qualitative research always focuses on “why” rather than “what”. It is a process of naturalistic questioning that seeks comprehension of social phenomena. It relies on the first-hand experience of the people. Qualitative research does not interpret through statistical and logical procedures and uses different inquiry systems. Such systems include case study, biography, grounded theory, discourse analysis and phenomenology. The critiquing qualitative research designs are about their’ small scale and biasness. In qualitative research critique, the collection of small samples is on the top. These samples cannot represent the larger population. The impact of such insufficient samples is on the generalizations of outputs. At the same time, it is difficult to consider how the findings are biased.

Standards of Critiquing Qualitative Research Designs

The concepts of non-numerical (qualitative) and numerical (quantitative) data are not new. However, qualitative researchers need to comprehend the terminology related to the core of the research. It can provide a full critique of several approaches, specifically in qualitative research. The critique of qualitative research also needs to understand in different ways.

The Framework of Critiquing Qualitative Research Designs

Critiquing framework for qualitative research considers sequential. Researchers and readers need to understand the questions and objectives of the research. Critiquing frameworks permit readers to decide the quality and soundness of the research, along with the objectivity. Several points need to understand while critiquing qualitative research designs. Among them all, the most essential is an in-depth review of every step of the research undertaken. Many dissertation writing services UK provide help for all of the steps.

Following are the five standards for critiquing qualitative research designs:

Descriptive Clarity

While critiquing qualitative research designs, descriptive clarity considers most common. Through descriptive clarity, there is a description of the site, informants or participants, data collection experience and most importantly, the researcher’s vision while collecting data. All the mentioned points need to identify clearly, so the reader considers it a personal experience of the event. However, the following limits and weaknesses are there, and the researcher needs to understand them before applying such critique:

  • There are chances of failure to include clarity of information
  • Credibility issues about the research
  • The insufficient time frame for the researcher
  • Insufficient observational skills of the researcher
  • Lack of clear information or incidents
  • Validity and finding issues
  • Insufficient skills to describe the narrative writings
  • Lack of public knowledge about the research and its importance

Methodological Similarity

In this standard of critiquing qualitative research designs is methodological similarity. It has further three points:

Documentation Accuracy

It requires identifying the writer’s methodological approach in the research. It requires a concise and clear presentation of philosophy, subjects, importance, literature review and research questions. There is also a need to understand the ethical implications, researcher credentials, data analysis strategies, theoretical developments, conclusions and recommendations for further studies. However, the following drawbacks and weaknesses are also there, and the researcher needs to understand them:

  • Limited chances to present the clear and concise information
  • Failure to demonstrate all components clearly
  • Minimum chances to manage all mentioned above information accurately

Procedural Accuracy

In procedural accuracy, the researcher needs to mention all steps so that the data surety may not be compromised. There are the following weaknesses in procedural accuracy:

  • Inaccurate query or unskilled data collector
  • Questions on the participant’s information
  • Insufficient data or time
  • Inappropriate selection of participants

Ethical Values

At this point, the researcher needs to understand and use all ethical values in their research. The researcher should ensure all ethical implications before starting any research. The following weaknesses are specifically associated with ethical values:

  • There are chances of inapplicability of ethical values in research
  • There may be a failure to ensure the security of participants’ right

Analytical Preciseness

The researcher must maintain data security and participant confidentiality by transforming data into different layers. It further requires that the researcher maintain the decision-making procedure through which such data transformation has been made. Following weaknesses are there in analytical preciseness:

  • There are chances that conclusions may not be based on the collection of data
  • Imperative statements may not correspond with research output
  • Theoretical statements fail to represent a clear and concise picture
  • The hypothesis may not be verified through the given data

Theoretical Congruence

While critiquing qualitative research designs, the theoretical congruence must be based on a clearly expressed study with specific logic. It also consists of data reflection and knowledge compatibility. However, there are several weaknesses associated with theoretical congruences, such as:

  • The misconception of definitions in the research material
  • Relationships of concepts are not expressed clearly or may not be validated as per gathered data
  • Theoretical vision is not related to the phenomenon
  • The map of the conceptual framework is not extracted from real data

Heuristic Relevance

There are further three points of heuristic relevance: relationship to the body of knowledge, intuitive recognition and applicability. Heuristic relevance is important for the reader as the reader must maintain the phenomena discussed in the study. Following are the weaknesses of heuristic relevance:

  • There will be no use for research if the reader is unfamiliar with the prescribed data
  • There is no consistency between data description and experiences
  • If the overall phenomenon is described poorly


The critique of qualitative research designs needs several criteria and standards. In modern research, there is a large scale of diversity. While critiquing qualitative research designs, the unfamiliar standards can make it difficult. It is due to the fact that the reviewer is not much familiar with such approaches. However, it is also a fact that several standards and approaches are in use to critique research materials. These standards are the benchmarks and can help the reviewer judge the research’s validity. The common reviewer considered a degree in modern standards and tools more difficult to understand. The reviewer must be aware of the latest standards and tools in critiquing qualitative research designs.

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