A guideline to improve qualitative social science publishing in ecology and conservation journals

Katie MOON, Tom Brewer, Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley, Vanessa M. Adams, Deborah BLACKMAN

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A rise in qualitative social science manuscripts published in ecology and conservation journals speaks to the growing awareness of the importance of the human dimension in maintaining and improving Earth’s ecosystems. Given the rise in the quantity of qualitative social science research published in ecology and conservation journals, it is worthwhile quantifying the extent to which this research is meeting established criteria for research design, conduct, and interpretation. Through a comprehensive review of this literature, we aimed to gather and assess data on the nature and extent of information presented on research design published qualitative research articles, which could be used to judge research quality. Our review was based on 146 studies from across nine ecology and conservation journals. We reviewed and summarized elements of quality that could be used by reviewers and readers to evaluate qualitative research (dependability, credibility, confirmability, and transferability); assessed the prevalence of these elements in research published in ecology and conservation journals; and explored the implications of sound qualitative research reporting for applying research findings. We found that dependability and credibility were reasonably well reported, albeit poorly evolved in relation to critical aspects of qualitative social science such as methodology and triangulation, including reflexivity. Confirmability was, on average, inadequately accounted for, particularly with respect to researchers’ ontology, epistemology, or philosophical perspective and their choice of methodology. Transferability was often poorly developed in terms of triangulation methods and the suitability of the sample for answering the research question/s. Based on these findings, we provide a guideline that may be used to evaluate qualitative research presented in ecology and conservation journals to help secure the role of qualitative research and its application to decision making.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-20
    Number of pages20
    JournalEcology and Society
    Volume21
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Fingerprint

    ecology
    triangulation
    social science
    methodology
    decision making
    ecosystem

    Cite this

    MOON, Katie ; Brewer, Tom ; Januchowski-Hartley, Stephanie ; Adams, Vanessa M. ; BLACKMAN, Deborah. / A guideline to improve qualitative social science publishing in ecology and conservation journals. In: Ecology and Society. 2016 ; Vol. 21, No. 3. pp. 1-20.
    @article{18f21e3cf8634b528da0228c1cbfa3c7,
    title = "A guideline to improve qualitative social science publishing in ecology and conservation journals",
    abstract = "A rise in qualitative social science manuscripts published in ecology and conservation journals speaks to the growing awareness of the importance of the human dimension in maintaining and improving Earth’s ecosystems. Given the rise in the quantity of qualitative social science research published in ecology and conservation journals, it is worthwhile quantifying the extent to which this research is meeting established criteria for research design, conduct, and interpretation. Through a comprehensive review of this literature, we aimed to gather and assess data on the nature and extent of information presented on research design published qualitative research articles, which could be used to judge research quality. Our review was based on 146 studies from across nine ecology and conservation journals. We reviewed and summarized elements of quality that could be used by reviewers and readers to evaluate qualitative research (dependability, credibility, confirmability, and transferability); assessed the prevalence of these elements in research published in ecology and conservation journals; and explored the implications of sound qualitative research reporting for applying research findings. We found that dependability and credibility were reasonably well reported, albeit poorly evolved in relation to critical aspects of qualitative social science such as methodology and triangulation, including reflexivity. Confirmability was, on average, inadequately accounted for, particularly with respect to researchers’ ontology, epistemology, or philosophical perspective and their choice of methodology. Transferability was often poorly developed in terms of triangulation methods and the suitability of the sample for answering the research question/s. Based on these findings, we provide a guideline that may be used to evaluate qualitative research presented in ecology and conservation journals to help secure the role of qualitative research and its application to decision making.",
    keywords = "Case study, Confirmability, Credibility, Dependability, Methods, Transferability",
    author = "Katie MOON and Tom Brewer and Stephanie Januchowski-Hartley and Adams, {Vanessa M.} and Deborah BLACKMAN",
    year = "2016",
    doi = "10.5751/ES-08663-210317",
    language = "English",
    volume = "21",
    pages = "1--20",
    journal = "Ecology and Society",
    issn = "1195-5449",
    publisher = "The Resilience Alliance",
    number = "3",

    }

    MOON, K, Brewer, T, Januchowski-Hartley, S, Adams, VM & BLACKMAN, D 2016, 'A guideline to improve qualitative social science publishing in ecology and conservation journals', Ecology and Society, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 1-20. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-08663-210317

    A guideline to improve qualitative social science publishing in ecology and conservation journals. / MOON, Katie; Brewer, Tom; Januchowski-Hartley, Stephanie; Adams, Vanessa M.; BLACKMAN, Deborah.

    In: Ecology and Society, Vol. 21, No. 3, 2016, p. 1-20.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - A guideline to improve qualitative social science publishing in ecology and conservation journals

    AU - MOON, Katie

    AU - Brewer, Tom

    AU - Januchowski-Hartley, Stephanie

    AU - Adams, Vanessa M.

    AU - BLACKMAN, Deborah

    PY - 2016

    Y1 - 2016

    N2 - A rise in qualitative social science manuscripts published in ecology and conservation journals speaks to the growing awareness of the importance of the human dimension in maintaining and improving Earth’s ecosystems. Given the rise in the quantity of qualitative social science research published in ecology and conservation journals, it is worthwhile quantifying the extent to which this research is meeting established criteria for research design, conduct, and interpretation. Through a comprehensive review of this literature, we aimed to gather and assess data on the nature and extent of information presented on research design published qualitative research articles, which could be used to judge research quality. Our review was based on 146 studies from across nine ecology and conservation journals. We reviewed and summarized elements of quality that could be used by reviewers and readers to evaluate qualitative research (dependability, credibility, confirmability, and transferability); assessed the prevalence of these elements in research published in ecology and conservation journals; and explored the implications of sound qualitative research reporting for applying research findings. We found that dependability and credibility were reasonably well reported, albeit poorly evolved in relation to critical aspects of qualitative social science such as methodology and triangulation, including reflexivity. Confirmability was, on average, inadequately accounted for, particularly with respect to researchers’ ontology, epistemology, or philosophical perspective and their choice of methodology. Transferability was often poorly developed in terms of triangulation methods and the suitability of the sample for answering the research question/s. Based on these findings, we provide a guideline that may be used to evaluate qualitative research presented in ecology and conservation journals to help secure the role of qualitative research and its application to decision making.

    AB - A rise in qualitative social science manuscripts published in ecology and conservation journals speaks to the growing awareness of the importance of the human dimension in maintaining and improving Earth’s ecosystems. Given the rise in the quantity of qualitative social science research published in ecology and conservation journals, it is worthwhile quantifying the extent to which this research is meeting established criteria for research design, conduct, and interpretation. Through a comprehensive review of this literature, we aimed to gather and assess data on the nature and extent of information presented on research design published qualitative research articles, which could be used to judge research quality. Our review was based on 146 studies from across nine ecology and conservation journals. We reviewed and summarized elements of quality that could be used by reviewers and readers to evaluate qualitative research (dependability, credibility, confirmability, and transferability); assessed the prevalence of these elements in research published in ecology and conservation journals; and explored the implications of sound qualitative research reporting for applying research findings. We found that dependability and credibility were reasonably well reported, albeit poorly evolved in relation to critical aspects of qualitative social science such as methodology and triangulation, including reflexivity. Confirmability was, on average, inadequately accounted for, particularly with respect to researchers’ ontology, epistemology, or philosophical perspective and their choice of methodology. Transferability was often poorly developed in terms of triangulation methods and the suitability of the sample for answering the research question/s. Based on these findings, we provide a guideline that may be used to evaluate qualitative research presented in ecology and conservation journals to help secure the role of qualitative research and its application to decision making.

    KW - Case study

    KW - Confirmability

    KW - Credibility

    KW - Dependability

    KW - Methods

    KW - Transferability

    U2 - 10.5751/ES-08663-210317

    DO - 10.5751/ES-08663-210317

    M3 - Article

    VL - 21

    SP - 1

    EP - 20

    JO - Ecology and Society

    JF - Ecology and Society

    SN - 1195-5449

    IS - 3

    ER -