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date: 17 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This essay addresses a wide range of concepts related to interpretation in qualitative research, examines the meaning and importance of interpretation in qualitative inquiry, and explores the ways methodology, data, and the self/researcher as instrument interact and impact interpretive processes. Additionally, the essay presents a series of strategies for qualitative researchers engaged in the process of interpretation. The article closes by presenting a framework for qualitative researchers designed to inform their interpretations. The framework includes attention to the key qualitative research concepts transparency, reflexivity, analysis, validity, evidence, and literature. Four questions frame the article: What is interpretation, and why are interpretive strategies important in qualitative research? How do methodology, data, and the researcher/self impact interpretation in qualitative research? How do qualitative researchers engage in the process of interpretation? And, in what ways can a framework for interpretation strategies support qualitative researchers across multiple methodologies and paradigms?

Keywords: qualitative research, interpretation, analysis, data, transparency, reflexivity, validity, evidence, literature review

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