Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/eb-2013-101494
  • Research made simple

Understanding triangulation in research

  1. Dorothy Forbes2
  1. 1School of Nursing, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to: Roberta Heale
    School of Nursing, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON, Canada P3E2C6; rheale{at}

The term ‘triangulation’ originates in the field of navigation where a location is determined by using the angles from two known points.1 Triangulation in research is the use of more than one approach to researching a question. The objective is to increase confidence in the findings through the confirmation of a proposition using two or more independent measures.2 The combination of findings from two or more rigorous approaches provides a more comprehensive picture of the results than either approach could do alone.3

Triangulation is typically associated with research methods and designs. However, there are several other variations on the term. Triangulation may be the use of multiple theories, data sources, methods …

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