This article introduces the special issue, “Diverse Approaches to Qualitative Data Analysis for Applied Research,” in which seven papers analyze one shared data set to illustrate different approaches to qualitative analysis. In addition to discussing the articles included in the special issue, this introduction provides an overview of applied research—highlighting some of the implications for qualitative research—and discusses how researchers could use the special issue to compare different qualitative approaches to choose one most appropriate for a given project’s goals.


applied qualitative research, qualitative data analysis, secondary data, shared data

Author Bio(s)

Jessica Nina Lester is an Associate Professor of Inquiry Methodology in the School of Education at Indiana University. Her scholarship centers on concerns related to qualitative methodologies and methods, with a particular focus on language-based methodologies and qualitative practices that center diverse bodyminds. Please direct correspondence to jnlester@indiana.edu.

Noah Goodman is an applied researcher at EDC’s Center for Children and Technology. His work supports partners to design and improve programs, tools, and materials that enhance learning in diverse settings. Goodman co-leads EDC’s research collaboration with the Library of Congress and he has contributed to a range of digital games and tools, such as Zoom In to US History and Mission US.

Dr. Michelle O’Reilly is an Associate Professor of Communication in Mental Health and Chartered Psychologist in Health for the University of Leicester. Dr. O’Reilly is also a Research Consultant and Quality Improvement Advisor for Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. Dr. O’Reilly specializes in qualitative research in mental health, particularly using discourse and conversation analysis approaches. Please direct correspondence mjo14@leicester.ac.uk.

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