Qualitative research relies on nuanced judgements that require researcher reflexivity, yet reflexivity is often addressed superficially or overlooked completely during the research process. In this AMEE Guide, we define reflexivity as a set of continuous, collaborative, and multifaceted practices through which researchers self-consciously critique, appraise, and evaluate how their subjectivity and context influence the research processes. We frame reflexivity as a way to embrace and value researchers’ subjectivity. We also describe the purposes that reflexivity can have depending on different paradigmatic choices. We then address how researchers can account for the significance of the intertwined personal, interpersonal, methodological, and contextual factors that bring research into being and offer specific strategies for communicating reflexivity in research dissemination. With the growth of qualitative research in health professions education, it is essential that qualitative researchers carefully consider their paradigmatic stance and use reflexive practices to align their decisions at all stages of their research. We hope this Guide will illuminate such a path, demonstrating how reflexivity can be used to develop and communicate rigorous qualitative research.
- qualitative methods
- qualitative research