Repository logo

A guide to comparability terminology and methods

Published version

Change log


Elliott, Gill 


Comparability is a complex and challenging area for educational researchers, particularly those who have little experience of it. This article seeks to provide a short and accessible introduction to the area. As such it includes discussion of the holism of the topic and how to distinguish between definitions and methods and a glossary of key terms. Core to the article is a list of different methods which have been used when investigating comparability issues in the educational assessment literature. Each method is briefly described, with examples of contexts and definitions which have been applied. The article also includes a short summary of some of the key themes in the literature and discussion of how these themes relate to one another. The key aim of this paper is to help researchers come to a better shared understanding of the concepts and issues which form the interwoven web of concepts which characterises comparability.



Research methods, Comparability

Journal Title

Research Matters

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Research Division, Cambridge University Press & Assessment

Publisher DOI

Publisher URL