Ronald J. Chenail
Nova Southeastern University
Ron Chenail, Ph.D., is Associate Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, Professor of Family Therapy, and Director of the Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research Program at Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Twenty-seven years ago he created the world’s first online, open-access, English language, qualitative research journal, The Qualitative Report, and later launched its sister publication, The Weekly Qualitative Report. His web-based resources regularly rank in Google’s top ten qualitative research sites. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage (Taylor & Francis; http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wjdr20/current). Previously, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (JMFT), the flagship research journal of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), for two terms. In addition, he is an editorial board member of Qualitative Research in Psychology; Contemporary Family Therapy, Qualitative Social Work; Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Health; JMFT; and Sistemas Familiares; as well as a founding editorial board member of Qualitative Inquiry.
Since 1990, he has been part of 16 grants and contracts totally over $6,506,300, published over 130 publications including seven books, and given over 190 formal academic presentations at conferences and meetings.
Tabling Tables in Qualitative Research Reports*
Tables are wonderful tools for helping qualitative researchers extract findings from data and manage emergent categories, themes, and even theories, but their use in written reports to present the results from qualitative data analysis can be problematic. The trouble with tables are researchers can present names and definitions of categories along with plenty of excerpts from the data in their tables, but when researchers position cells containing names alongside cells containing data, they end up not presenting a clear explanation how the data evidence the qualitative claims researchers are claiming. This lack of clarity means readers have to provide their own analysis in order to understand and judge what the results mean; such a situation is not good qualitative research reporting. In order for reviewers and readers to judge the quality of qualitative researchers’ analytical judgements, researchers must define the quality, introduce the data, and explain the relationship between the asserted quality and the supporting data. To think of this in legal terms, persuasive evidence in qualitative research is produced when researchers juxtapose testimony and exhibits effectively so researchers make it clear how one element supports and enhances the other in a coherent fashion. In this manner, presenting qualitative analysis results is like a courtroom, tables may be useful tools to display exhibits, but they lack testimony to make a strong case. In this presentation, I will show how to use tables as effective management tools in the analysis process and as helpful scaffolding devices in the transitioning from qualitative analysis to reporting qualitative research results, but in the final report, I suggest tables should be tabled.
*Prof. Ron Chenail will be making his presentation virtually