The article used for this essay discusses the experience of veterans of the Second Gulf War in their attempts to enter the workforce. The researchers employ four focus groups that consist of employed and unemployed study subjects to gain an experiential understanding of their experience. Keeling, Ozuna, Kintzle, and Castro (2018) claim that that planning and the transition process are the two central themes that emerge in the analysis. As such, they conclude that there is a need for self-determination and develop a variety of recommendations for policy, services, and research. This paper offers a critique of the article based on the criteria established by O’Brien, Harris, Beckman, Reed, and Cook (2014).
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The publication satisfies criterion 1, as its title is concise and informative, identifying the topic and the research method. It’s abstract matches the requirements of objective 2, summarizing the work adequately. The sizable introduction describes the issue in considerable detail but fails to frame its research questions explicitly. As such, it fulfills goal 3, but target 4 is only partially satisfied due to the presence of an aim statement. The researchers fail to mention that the study is qualitative and provides a specific approach, and so criterion 5 is not addressed adequately. They also do not discuss their characteristics, thus not fulfilling target 6, and mention the setting in little detail, partially completing goal 7.
The authors discuss their sampling strategy, noting that the sample was as large as they could collect. They also note that an ethics review board has approved the study and that the participants were fully informed, and so criteria 8 and 9 are satisfied. They discuss the data gathering process and provide the questions used in the research, thus reaching targets 10 and 11. The authors also explicitly define the units of study and discuss data processing, and so the study completes objectives 12 and 13. Lastly, they discuss data analysis, but there is no description of a specific trustworthiness enhancement technique, so goal 14 is met, but 15 is not.
The Results section formulates a model that consists of two primary themes, fulfilling criterion 16. The paper features extensive use of quotations collected from participants, which is sufficient to match target 17. The Discussion section integrates the work with prior research and discusses implications as well as the usefulness of the findings in practice, which is sufficient for goal 18. There is also attention devoted to limitations, and so the article matches criterion 19, as well. However, there is no discussion of conflicts of interest anywhere in the paper, and so objective 20 is not satisfied. There is no discussion of funding, either, and so, the final target, number 21, is also not completed.
Overall, the article has a variety of issues in each of its sections, most of which can be addressed without much difficulty. The authors should frame the research questions explicitly, describe the research method and paradigm in some detail, and consider the influence of their characteristics on the results. They should also consider using specific methods to improve the trustworthiness of their analysis and naming any if they do. Lastly, they should remember to discuss conflicts of interest and funding, even if these aspects may appear irrelevant to them. With these issues and improvement opportunities in mind, the researchers should be able to enhance the quality of their study reporting in the future.
O’Brien, B.C., Harris, I.B., Beckman, T.J., Reed, D.A., & Cook, D.A. (2014). Standards for reporting qualitative research: A synthesis of recommendations. Academic Medicine, 89(9), 1245-1251.
Keeling, M. E., Ozuna, S. M., Kintzle, S., & Castro, C. A. (2018). Veterans’ civilian employment experiences: Lessons learnt from focus groups. Journal of Career Development. Web.
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