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date: 23 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This article suggests how qualitative methods can be useful in a quantitative survey research agenda and highlights the boundaries that must be considered to make such methods meet scientific standards. It first explains what qualitative research is and how it differs from quantitative research, then discusses four phases of the survey research process in which qualitative methods can be used with traditional survey research methods to both improve a survey’s design or methodology and better understand and illustrate survey findings. It also reviews three primary qualitative methodologies for structuring and implementing qualitative research: focus groups, in-depth interviews, and cognitive interviews. The article concludes with specific guidance on best practices for conducting qualitative research, from developing a comprehensive research plan to reporting the results of the survey, as well as ethical issues that should be considered.

Keywords: qualitative methods, qualitative research, quantitative research, survey, research methods, focus groups, in-depth interviews, cognitive interviews, informed consent, confidentiality

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