Qualitative research: Reporting guidelines

There are several guidelines on reporting qualitative research, like:

  • The COREQ (COnsolidated Criteria for REporting Qualitative Research) offers a 32-item checklist that can help researchers to report important aspects of the research team, study methods, context of the study, findings, analysis and interpretations. Reference: Tong, A., Sainsbury, P. & Craig, J. (2007) Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative research (COREQ): a 32-item checklist for interviews and focus groups. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 19 (6): 349-357.
  • The SRQR (Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research) offers a standard for reporting qualitative research, based on a review of different guidelines. It aims to improve the transparency of qualitative research and assist authors during manuscript preparation. Reference: O’Brien, B.C., Harris, I.B., Beckman, T.J., Reed, D.A. & Cook, D.A. (2014) Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research: A Synthesis of Recommendations. Academic Medicine, 89: 1245-1251.
  • The British Medical Journal has created their own checklist with a set of criteria for reporting on qualitative research:
    • Was the research question clearly defined?
    • Overall, did the researcher make explicit in the account the theoretical framework and methods used at every stage or the research?
    • Was the context clearly described?
    • Was the sampling strategy clearly described and justified?
    • Was the sampling strategy theoretically comprehensive to ensure the generalizability of the conceptual analysis (diverse range of individuals and settings, for example)?
    • How was the fieldwork undertaken? Was it described in detail?
    • Could the evidence (fieldwork notes, interview transcripts, recordings, documentary analysis, etc.) be inspected independently by others: if relevant, could the process of transcription be independently inspected?
    • Were the procedures for data analysis clearly described and theoretically justified? Did they relate to the original research questions? How were themes and concepts identified from the data?
    • Was the analysis repeated by more than one researcher to ensure reliability?
    • Did the investigator make use of quantitative evidence to test qualitative conclusions where appropriate?
    • Did the investigator give evidence of seeking out observations that might have contradicted or modified the analysis?
    • Was sufficient of the original evidence presented systematically in the written account to satisfy the skeptical reader of the relation between the interpretation and the evidence (for example, were quotations numbered and sources given)?
Furthermore, several journals have their own guidelines on reporting qualitative data or refer to a specific guideline like the COREQ or SRQR. You can find these in the section with author information. It is advised to be informed of these guidelines from the start of the research project, as they provide the researcher with items of importance.


V3.0: 20 Oct 2017: Revision guideline
V2.0: 12 May 2015: Revision format
V1.2: 1 Dec 2011: Removal of link kwalitatief sterk
V1.1: 1 Jan 2010: English translation
V1.0: 23 Nov 2006: Draft version has been rewritten in full