The importance of piloting or pre-testing semi-structured interviews and narratives

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The aim of this case study is to highlight the importance of piloting or pre-testing the research design (in this case, semi-structured interviews and narratives). Most textbooks offer minimal guidance about pre-testing the research design, and published reports rarely report whether the research was piloted and, if so, what were the results. Therefore, this case study argues that researchers need to report on their pilot study so that others embarking on the research can learn from it. In this case study, I explore the concept of piloting and pre-testing the research, explain the process of collecting the qualitative data using semi-structured interviews, and demonstrate the complexity of analyzing the data when using a narrative approach, especially when the data are unexpected. In addition, I discuss the pilot study process and the lessons I learned.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
Specialist publicationSAGE Research Methods Cases
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2016

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