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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

At first it may seem that the idea of moving the field of mixed methods research to best practice guidelines is unproblematic. It is assumed that identifying correct, effective, and best ways to do mixed methods research in the form of best practice guidelines is an admirable and desirable goal that can only enhance the development of the field. However this may not necessarily be so as it depends on how and why those guidelines are developed, as well what they are used for. Using examples drawn from contemporary best practice guideline development in mixed methods research such as those developed in the US for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this chapter explores the impact any move to best practice guidelines could have on understandings of what can, and might, be called mixed methods research, as well as on how mixed methods research can, or might, be done. The conundrum is if, and if so how, such a move can retain the promise of a “mixed methods way of thinking” (Greene, 2007) and not sell out to new forms of methods-centric thinking (Hesse-Biber, 2010b).

Keywords: best practice guidelines, mixed methods research, mixed methods way of thinking, NIH, methods-centric thinking

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