I have uploaded a podcast on Shenton based on Shenton’s (2004) paper:
Shenton A (2005) Strategies for ensuring trustworthiness in qualitative research projects. Education for Information 22, 63-75.
In the podcast I go through a number of specific points that Shenton raises. At times I agree, at times I disagree, or query a premise. This is not to discredit or dismiss Shenton’s points, but to open them up for discussion. Qualitative research is a contested, messy area, and few arguments (if any), however cogent and well developed, will be accepted universally. So the podcast is in conversation with Shenton, rather than being a criticism of his ideas and those he builds on.
One thing I do say is that ‘trustworthiness’ is important, but not everything when it comes to quality in qualitative research, or doing qualitative research well. Shenton’s focus on trust issues is admirable and useful. But I feel it is important to raise this point: We could do research that met all of the criteria, and used all the strategies Shenton mentions… but it could still be useless! So we have to think beyond trust.. to questions of ‘so what?’ and ‘how have I gone beyond technical competence in my research?’