How to … be reflexive when conducting qualitative research

Aileen Barrett, Kajamaa Anu, Jennifer Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Reflexivity can be a complex concept to grasp when entering the world of qualitative research. In this article, we aim to encourage new qualitative researchers to become reflexive as they develop their critical research skills, differentiating between the familiar concept of reflection and reflective practice and that of reflexivity. Although reflection is, to all intents and purposes, a goal‐oriented action with the aim of improving practice, reflexivity is a continual process of engaging with and articulating the place of the researcher and the context of the research. It also involves challenging and articulating social and cultural influences and dynamics that affect this context. As a hallmark of high‐quality qualitative research, reflexivity is not only an individual process but one that needs to be considered a collective process within a research team, and communicated throughout the research process. In keeping with our previous articles in this series, we have illustrated the theoretical concept of reflexivity using practical examples of published research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
JournalThe Clinical Teacher
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • reflexivity


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