Reliability & validity are terms that refer to the consistency and accuracy of a quantitative measurement questionnaire, technical device, ruler, or any other measuring device. It means that the outcome measure can be trusted and is relatively error free.
Reliability– This means that the instrument measures CONSISTENTLY
Validity – This means that the instrument measures ACCURATELY. In other words it measures what it is supposed to measure and not something else.
For example: If your bathroom scale measures weight, then it is a valid measure of weight (e.g. it doesn’t measure BP or stress). You might say it had high validity. If your bathroom scale measures your weight as the same thing when you step on and off of it several times then it is measuring weight reliably or consistently; and you might say it has high reliability.
You can be a part of documenting such stories, including your own. Can I pique your interest with these examples about historical research?
1. Artifacts:Example = http://acif.org/The American Collectors of Infant Feeders:
The American Collectors of Infant Feeders is a non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to gather and publish information pertaining to the feeding of infants throughout history. The collecting of infant feeders and related items is promoted.
2. Interviews:Example = http://www.oralhistory.org/ Want to do interviews of interesting faculty, students, leaders, “ordinary” nurses? Check out the Oral History Association In addition to fostering communication among its members, the OHA encourages standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, dissemination and uses of oral testimony.
3. Stories from the “ordinary:” Example: http://www.murphsplace.com/mother/main.htmlMy Mother’s War – “Helen T.Burrey was an American nurse who served as a Red Cross Nurse during World War I. She documented her experience in both a journal and a scrapbook which has been treasured by her daughter, Mary Murphy. Ms Murphy has placed many of these items on the Internet for people to access and it provides a first-hand account of that experience. Additionally she has a variety of links to other WWI resources.” (quoted from AAHN Resources online)
4. Ethnic studies:Example=https://libguides.rowan.edu/blacknurses Black Nurses in History “This is a ‘bibliography and guide to web resources’ from the UMDNJ and Coriell Research Library. Included are Mamie O. Hail, Mary Eliza Mahoney, Jessie Sleet Scales, Mary Seacole, Mabel Keaton Staupers, Susie King Taylor, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman.” (quoted from AAHN Resources online)
Critical thinking: Don’t forget to save your own materials. Your life is history! What in your life is most interesting? Have you written it down or dictated it into your iphone voice memo? There is GREAT interest in “ordinary” men and women. Many times items are tossed because they are “just letters” or “only old records,” or “stuff.” Just Don’t Do It.