Appraising the Reporting Quality of a Qualitative Research Article

Appraising the Reporting Quality of a Qualitative Research Article

Start with the supplied research article, the reporting-quality guide and the assignment template
A research article reporting a qualitative study will be available on vUWS with the  Reporting guide qualitative HLTH2024.pd   and a Word document template in .dotx format. Double-clicking on the .dotx file creates a Word document. You should use the new Word document created from the template to write and submit the assignment, following any instructions on that template as well as this learning guide, the relevant tutorial work, and advice and instructions on vUWS including the discussion board. Any advice or instructions in tutorials or on vUWS have the same authority as this learning guide.

Assignment task – appraising the reporting quality of a qualitative research article

You are asked to evaluate the reporting quality of the supplied article by comparing the article to criteria from the official qualitative guide to reporting quality. For each section of the journal article as displayed in the assignment template, select from the drop-down list a rating for the reporting quality of that section: Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor. Then, for each section of the article add a typed prose justification of your rating-scale answer, evaluating the reporting quality of the article section by addressing as many criteria as you can from the official guide for that section within the limited word count. Higher scoring text answers will match a plausible rating-scale answer and include correct evaluation of reporting quality, and state the evidence-based practice implications of that reporting quality. Assignments will be marked only against the criteria from the official guide and not directly from any other reporting quality checklists even where those guides or checklist match the official guide. No additional research or literature is needed. No citations or references additional to the supplied article are expected. Evaluations based on criteria from reporting-quality guides and checklists where those criteria do not appear in the official quantitative guide will contribute zero to the score for that section. See the Module 6 tutorial for detailed definitions of “Good”, “Fair” and “Poor” reporting quality for the rating-scale answers, complementing the reporting quality guide for qualitative research. For a high score, your rating-scale answer must logically match your text evaluation. State what the authors have reported properly, noting also what the authors have omitted to report or reported inadequately.Therefore, for each section of the article, try to identify:
  1. Relevant and important criteria that the authors have satisfied in their report. In this way, you identify where and how the authors have achieved a high standard of reporting. These comments support a Good or Excellent rating.
  2. Relevant and important criteria that the authors have missed. The authors could have overlooked important criteria or inadequately addressed them in the article. In this way, you are identifying where and how the authors have not achieved a high standard of reporting. These comments support a Fair or Poor rating.
  3. Evidence-based practice implications of the reporting quality for that section, identified through a brief comment in your answer. Convincing argument about evidence-based practice implications is essential for a Distinction or High Distinction score for that section.


Assignment marks are awarded according to these main assessment criteria:
Distinction or High Distinction = competent descriptive summary of relevant and important article content plus further evaluation in the text answer matching the drop-down answer plus evidence-based practice implications. “Relevant and important” mean there are implications for evidence-based practice for that part of the article (i.e., what the article is saying) and its reporting quality (i.e., how the article presents that information). You will score higher if you persuasively say what those implications are, as per Point 3 above. Relevance takes priority over importance. Reporting quality is important only if it’s relevant to evidence-based practice. If it’s not relevant, it’s not important. Among the aspects of reporting quality that are relevant to evidence-based practice or policy, concentrate on the most important aspects. You will have to exercise judgement when selecting what to write about. That judgement is assessable. See the marking rubric in the learning guide for Credit, Pass and Fail criteria.
There is no need for a literature review. The reporting quality guide and the supplied journal article are the only sources required. Use additional sources sparingly, if at all, and only where these extra sources build your argument and justify your conclusions, and not to replace your own thinking. Better is to use no additional sources. Where ideas from another source are used, that source must be cited and referenced. It is expected that the supplied article will be formally cited at least once, along with a properly formatted reference list entry. Both a properly presented citation and reference entry are essential for at least a Pass score on the ”Presentation” marking criteria for this assessment. The so-called hourglass structure for essays, comprising an introduction, main text and conclusions should not be used. Follow the structure of the supplied template exactly. Do not add to or delete sections of the assignment template. Text outside of the sections on the supplied template will score no marks but will nevertheless contribute to the word count. Quality of written expression and presentation are assessable. Quality of expression includes clarity, coherence, conciseness, originality, spelling, punctuation, grammar and conformity with APA 7 writing style. Your assignment is about reporting quality of the article, not the quality of the research within its chosen qualitative paradigm. Your evaluation should concentrate on how well the authors have reported their research rather than how well the research was done. Avoid direct evaluation of the research question, background information, study design, ethics, data collection, sampling, procedures, analysis and interpretation, although you should critique how well these are reported based on criteria from the official qualitative reporting quality guide. Where reporting quality has direct implications for research quality, that can be mentioned with priority given to reporting quality. Raise research quality only where reporting quality enables or makes it harder for readers to evaluate critically the study’s rationale, its methods, the authors’ interpretation of the results and their implications, and the study’s rigour, trustworthiness, transferability, confirmability and dependability for clinical practice or public health policy.

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