Journal article Open Access

"Member-Checking": Not a Panacea, Sometimes a Quagmire

Schwartz-Shea, Peregrine

I first encountered “member-checking” circa 2004 while writing a chapter about what sorts of criteria might be appropriate for assessing the quality of interpretive empirical studies. In the 2014 revision I wrote: “Informant feedback” and “member checks”…answer the questions “How do you know that your study’s ‘representations’ are recognizable by the people you studied?” and “How does the reader know that ‘these words,’ ‘these views,’ are theirs, rather than yours?” Informant feedback/ member checks are specific ways that researchers test their own meaning making by going back to, and asking for feedback from, those studied for an assessment of whether the researcher has “got it right”— that is, has understood the experiences of those studied on, and in, their own

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