Autenticidad y calidad en la investigación educativa cualitativa: multivocalidad.

Trustworthiness and quality in qualitative educational research: Multivocality

Margarita Varela Ruiza, Tania Vives Varelaa

aFacultad de Medicina, UNAM, Ciudad de México, México

Recibido el 20 de febrero de 2016; aceptado el 29 de abril de 2016

Palabras Clave

Enfoque cualitativo. Enfoque cuantitativo. Validez. Autenticidad. Criterios de rigor. Fundamentos epistemológicos.


Qualitative approach. Quantitative approach. Validity. Trustworthiness. Criteria of rigour. Epistemological foundations.


Research with a quantitative approach is the dominant paradigm in the field of medical education; its validity criteria are widely accepted by the scientific community, while qualitative research faces the challenge of defending the credibility and rigour of its methods. The purpose of this article is to reflect on the criteria of authenticity used in the process of developing a qualitative study. Paradigmatic differences between quantitative and qualitative approaches are reviewed. Three stages are described in the path followed by qualitative research in order to establish its scientific rigour criteria: i) conventional, ii) parallel, and iii) paradigmatic. There have been many theoretical and epistemological perspectives from the beginning of qualitative research to the present. More than 20 kinds of qualitative research have been described. Many voices, differences and proposals are reviewed to help understand the rigour of qualitative research. A reflective guide on authenticity criteria is presented around the epistemological foundations, methods, voices that are heard, involvement in the action, ethical aspects, and the researcher. Nowadays the qualitative approach is marked by debate, dialogue, and controversy marked by multivocality. There is a tendency to pursue ecological values and justice, respect for the environment and for communities, as well as to consider all texts, including marginalised voices to represent their accounts with fairness and equity.