Miles and Huberman's Evaluative Criteria

Objectivity/Confirmability - relative neutrality, freedom from unacknowledged researcher bias, explicitness about inevitable bias

Reliability/Dependability/Auditability is the process of the study consistent and reasonably stable over time and across researchers and methods? (Miles and Huberman, 1994, p. 278):

Internal Validity/Credibility/Authenticity - Truth value. Do the findings of the study make sense?  Are they credible to the people studied, members of the research community, and others?

External Validity/Transferability/Fittingness - Do the conclusions of a study have any larger import?  Are they transferable to other contexts?  Do they fit with what we already know?  How far can findings be generalized?

Utilization/Application/Action Orientation - What does the study do for participants?  What is the pragmatic value of the research?

For a list of specific questions that one should ask to evaluate the quality of a research study based on each of the above criteria, please see Miles and Huberman (1994, pp. 278-280).


Miles, MB. & Huberman, AM. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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