Psychometric properties of the TACT framework—Determining rigor in qualitative research

Ben Daniel*, Mustafa Asil, Sarah Carr

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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The credibility of qualitative research has long been debated, with critics emphasizing the lack of rigor and the challenges of demonstrating it. In qualitative research, rigor encompasses explicit, detailed descriptions of various research stages, including problem framing, study design, data collection, analysis, and reporting. The diversity inherent in qualitative research, originating from various beliefs and paradigms, challenges establishing universal guidelines for determining its rigor. Additionally, researchers' often unrecorded thought processes in qualitative studies further complicate the assessment of research quality.

To address these concerns, this article builds on the TACT framework, which was developed to teach postgraduate students and those new to qualitative research to identify and apply rigorous principles and indicators in qualitative research. The research reported in this article focuses on creating a scale designed to evaluate the psychometric properties of the TACT framework. This involves analyzing the stability of its dimensions and understanding its effectiveness as a tool for teaching and research.

The study's findings indicate that the TACT framework, when assessed through the newly developed scale, exhibits stable dimensions consistent with rigorous qualitative research principles. The framework effectively guides postgraduate students and new researchers in assessing the rigor of qualitative research processes and outcomes.

The application of the TACT framework and its evaluation scale reveals several insights. Firstly, it demonstrates the framework's utility in bridging the gap in pedagogical tools for teaching rigor in qualitative research methods. Secondly, it highlights the framework's potential in providing a structured approach to undertaking qualitative research, which is essential given this field's diverse methodologies and paradigms. However, the TACT framework remains a guide to enhancing rigor in qualitative research throughout all the various phases but by no means a measure of rigor.

In conclusion, the TACT framework and its accompanying evaluative scale represent significant steps toward standardizing and enhancing the rigor of qualitative research, particularly for postgraduate students and early career researchers. While it does not solve all challenges associated with obtaining and demonstrating rigor in qualitative research, it provides a valuable tool for assessing and ensuring research quality, thereby addressing some of the longstanding criticisms of the quality of research obtained through qualitative methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2024


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