How might you identify whether a journal article is qualitative or quantitative?

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To identify whether this article contains qualitative or quantitative data, you need to ask yourself a key question. Firstly, to do this you have a look at the information contained in the article. Then, you must ask yourself is the information based on numbers and statistics, or does it contain a numerical analysis? If so, you can identify the information in this article as quantitative data. This type of data relates to quantities of things and is, therefore, quantitative.

Conversely, is the information in the article based on words or images? If so, you can identify this article as containing qualitative data.

As a final point, it is worth noting that some articles might contain a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data. Be sure to look out for both types as you read.

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Research can generally be described as being either qualitative or quantitative; journal articles describing the research will match the topic of the article.

Qualitative research is generally marked by use of questionnaires, surveys, and other tools designed to gain verbal information and reactions or understandings about the topic(s) being researched. Quantitative research relies on the collection and analysis of numerical data - hence the reference to quantity.

Some researchers consider qualitative research as being suspect because it does not produce objectively measurable results.


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