Beyond checking: Experiences of the validation interview

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Credibility is a unique concept in qualitative research. One of the main means of achieving credibility is by performing a member check or validation interview. The present article describes and analyzes dilemmas facing researchers when validating themes emerging from member checks. This was done through validation experiences interviews. The article is based on 18 in-depth interviews with social workers who conducted member check interviews as part of a research project. Three main themes were identified: (a) 'What are the boundaries?' This refers to determining boundaries when granting legitimacy to interpretations. (b) 'Close-Distant' refers to the degree of acquaintance or non-acquaintance with the interviewee and its impact on the relationship and content of the validation interview. (c) 'Conflict with Power' refers to the transfer of power to the interviewer during the validation interview, and how the interviewer copes with this power and its consequences. The implications of these findings on conducting member check/validation interviews are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-122
Number of pages17
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • member check
  • qualitative research
  • validation interview
  • validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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