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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Gorard, S. (2014). A proposal for judging the trustworthiness of research findings. Radical Statistics 110: 47-59.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper offers a procedure for, and a description of the elements
involved in judging how trustworthy a research finding is. The idea is
of value to the users of research evidence and to researchers
themselves when creating a synthesis of existing evidence (i.e. in a
literature review. The focus here is on active designs to address causal
research questions, but the ideas can easily be extended to other types
of research. Other than design, the elements suggested are sample
size and quality, data quality, fidelity of intervention, and threats to
validity. These are combined in a kind of ‘sieve’ to produce a
judgement-based star-rating for the believability of a piece of research.
Trustworthiness of research findings is currently an area with too little
focus for the development of new researchers.

School of Education