Researchers June 5, 2020
Ascertaining Credibility in Research Surveys and Studies
SOurce: Unsplash

The credibility of a research survey or study is essential in determining whether the outcome is valid and reliable or not. For this reason, data is derived from thoroughly evaluated quantitative and qualitative evidence.

Quantitative data is, by nature, credible because of its factual basis. Qualitative measures, on the other hand, are not measured with metrics that focus on validity and reliability. Therefore, ascertaining the credibility of a research survey or study that used qualitative evidence to drive its final outcome is sometimes questionable.

Because of this ambiguity, it’s necessary to understand how credibility in research studies and surveys is analyzed to determine the legitimacy of the overall outcome.

Research Studies and Their Impact

Research studies are undertaken for a myriad of reasons, but all of them serve a purpose. For some researchers, the aim is to drive policy change. Others hope to stimulate an income source. Still, others want to develop new frameworks to guide theories or evaluate the impact of a program that is or could become widely used.

All of these have an impact on either the academic world or society. Research begets research, and a credible outcome can be used to influence further questions or as a source of data and analysis for another hypothesis. Since it has the capability to be the foundation on which other studies are built, it’s important to know the outcome is credible.

Part of that determination is ascertained by looking into the researcher and everyone who had a role in the outcome. This lets you know if the individual, group, or organization had the experience and knowledge necessary to conduct a thorough investigation of the topic at hand. It also shines a spotlight on anyone who may have had vested interests in the results. Their part in the research should be completely transparent and observable at all points for true objectivity to be assured.

Determining Legitimate Research

The process of ascertaining credibility in research surveys and studies is based partly on quantitative and partly on qualitative values. These factors, put together, create an overall level of trustworthiness and legitimacy that readers and publishers can use to base their information on going forward.

Basically, these qualities judge and share whether a source is valid and reliable. The factors used to set up this formula are credibility, transferability, confirmability, and dependability. When all of these elements exist in a research study, it is determined to be trustworthy and legitimate.

●      Confirmability equates to neutrality in the study, ensuring that the findings are able to be confirmed by the participant if another party were to verify their responses. Confirmability takes out any possible bias or motivation the researcher might have in influencing the study to one particular outcome. This type of element is harder to gauge in studies where the participants are anonymous, but the researcher should be able to establish audit trails to delineate every actionable data analysis step that led them to make a specific decision.

●       Credibility is evaluated by the researcher when they are using qualitative findings to drive the study. They must show how they were able to determine that the data they obtained and used as evidence was determined to be true, valid, accurate, and unbiased.

●      Dependability does not refer to the researcher’s trustworthiness. Rather, it pertains to how well the steps of the study were set up to be verified by other researchers. A dependable study is explained in thorough steps and processes so that other scholars can easily repeat the study, and in doing so, they should have consistent findings. When questions of dependability arise in qualitative data, an outside, independent party is used to review the audit trail and check for consistency and repeatability.

●      Transferability, the final element, is used to showcase how qualitative evidence relates to other similar situations. The transferability of a study’s findings can be used in other contexts to demonstrate the applicability of the outcome to other situations that would be considered similar.

When all of these findings are gauged to be at or above expectations, the study is ascertained as credible.

Impactio Can Help Your Credibility, Too

No matter how credible your findings are, if you don’t publish them professionally, it can detract from the overall legitimacy. For this matter, many expert scholars turn to Impactio as their forum to put together their manuscripts and publish their data.

Impactio is an all-in-one platform that scholars use to insert their text into relevant sections, compile data into graphs, charts, and tables, and publish their final product as PDF documents and web pages.

When your published results come from Impactio, the visible product is just as credible and impressive as your study’s outcome!

Tags Research StudiesAcademic ImpactResearch Surveys
About the author
Jason Collins- Writer
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.
Jason Collins
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.
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