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Qualitative Research

Qualitative Research

eISSN: 17413109 | ISSN: 14687941 | Current volume: 21 | Current issue: 3 Frequency: Bi-monthly

"Qualitative Research is a must read for anyone who wishes to stay current in this rapidly changing field." Norman K Denzin, University of Illinois, USA

"Qualitative Research is terrific and superbly edited. It showcases the methodological diversity that characterizes qualitative research today." Catherine Kohler Riessman, Boston College, USA

Qualitative Research provides a much needed forum for the discussion of research methods, in particular qualitative research, across the social sciences and cultural studies. The journal features papers with a methodological focus, discussed in relation to specific empirical studies and research problems and papers raising philosophical, theoretical, historical or ideological debates about qualitative research.

Electronic Access:

Qualitative Research is available electronically on SAGE Journals Online at

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Qualitative Research is a fully peer-reviewed international journal that publishes original research and review articles on the methodological diversity and multi-disciplinary focus of qualitative research within the social sciences.

Research based on qualitative methods, and methodological commentary on such research, have expanded exponentially in the past decades. This is the case across a number of disciplines including sociology, social anthropology, health and nursing, education, cultural studies, human geography, social and discursive psychology, and discourse studies. As the degree of internet in qualitative research is global, the scope of the journal is truly international as well as interdisciplinary, capitalizing on the current popularity of qualitative research methods across all of the social and cultural disciplines.

The distinctive mission of Qualitative Research is to promote and debate qualitative methods in a broad intellectual framework.

There are six issues a year divided into:

  • Articles
  • Short communication and research notes
  • Reports on new technologies and other innovations
  • Review essays and book reviews

Charlotte Bates Cardiff University, UK
Helen Blakely Cardiff University, UK
Tom Hall Cardiff University, UK
Sophie Hallett Cardiff University, UK
Dawn Mannay Cardiff University, UK
Kate Moles (Editor-in-Chief) Cardiff University, UK
Book Reviews Editor
Jamie Lewis Cardiff University, UK
Regional Editorial Advisors
Louisa Allen University of Auckland, New Zealand
James Mienczakowski Victoria University, Australia
Deborah Reed-Danahay University at Buffalo (SUNY), USA
Anne Ryen University of Agder, Norway
Editorial Assistant
Alison Evans Cardiff University, UK
Editorial Board
Allison Anders University of South Carolina, USA
Paul Atkinson Research Professor in Sociology at Cardiff University
Marc Berg Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Netherlands
David Bloome The Ohio State University, USA
David Calvey Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Ian Cook University of Exeter, UK
Sara Delamont Cardiff University, UK
Tia DeNora Exeter University, UK
Norman Denzin University of Illinois, Urbana - Champaign, USA
Bella Dicks Cardiff University, UK
Nigel Fielding University of Surrey, UK
Gary Alan Fine Northwestern University
Andrew Gitlin University of Georgia, USA
Tuula Gordon University of Helsinki, Finland
Martyn Hammersley The Open University, UK
Karen Henwood Cardiff University, UK
Michael Herzfeld Harvard University, USA
David Hess Vanderbilt University, USA
Sam Hillyard Durham University, UK
William Housley Cardiff University, UK
Udo Kelle Helmut Schmidt Universität, Germany
Hubert Knoblauch TU Berlin, Germany
Setha Low City University of New York, USA
Mairtin Mac an Ghaill Newman University, Birmingham, USA
Natasha Mauthner Newcastle University, UK
Julie McLeod University of Melbourne
David Mills University of Oxford, UK
Heidi Nast DePaul University, USA
Sevasti-Melissa Nolas Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Virginia Olesen University of California, San Francisco, USA
Andrew Parker University of Warwick, UK
Timothy Rapley Newcastle University, UK
Kathryn Roulston University of Georgia, USA
Katharina Schramm University of Bayreuth, Germany
S. Scott University of Sussex, UK
Clive Seale Brunel University, UK
Wesley Shumar Drexel University, USA
Pat Sikes University of Sheffield, UK
Kirsten Simonsen Roskilde University, Denmark
J A Sluka Massey Univ - Palmerston North Campus, New Zealand
Robin Smith Cardiff University, UK
Neil Stephens Brunel University, UK
Paul Ten Have University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Stefan Timmermans University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Martin B. Tolich University of Otago
Max Travers University of Tasmania, Australia
Phillip Vannini Royal Roads University, Canada
Christos Varvantaki Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Ash Watson University of New South Wales, Australia
Darin Weinberg University of Cambridge, UK
Sue White University of Birmingham , UK
Emma Wincup Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK
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  • Manuscript Submission Guidelines: Qualitative Research

    This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

    Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

    Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Qualitative Research will be reviewed.

    There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

    As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that the journal may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.
    If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

    1. What do we publish?
      1.1 Aims & Scope
      1.2 Article types
      1.3 Writing your paper
    2. Editorial policies
      2.1 Peer review policy
      2.2 Authorship
      2.3 Acknowledgements
      2.4 Funding
      2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
      2.6 Research Data
    3. Publishing policies
      3.1 Publication ethics
      3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
      3.3 Open access and author archiving
    4. Preparing your manuscript
      4.1 Formatting
      4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
      4.3 Supplemental material
      4.4 Reference style
      4.5 English language editing services
    5. Submitting your manuscript
      5.1 ORCID
      5.2 Information required for completing your submission
      5.3 Permissions
    6. On acceptance and publication
      6.1 SAGE Production
      6.2 Online First publication
      6.3 Access to your published article
      6.4 Promoting your article
    7. Further information

    1. What do we publish?

    1.1 Aims & Scope

    Qualitative Research publishes papers with a clear methodological focus. We invite scholarship that has multi-disciplinary appeal, that debates and enlivens qualitative methods, and that pushes at the boundaries of established ways of doing qualitative research. We are interested in papers that are attentive to a wide audience, that are alive to new and diverse ways of thinking about qualitative methods, and that contribute to discussions within the pages of this journal. These discussions can be brought to life through empirical studies and research encounters, but we do not accept papers that focus on reporting the findings from qualitative research studies.

    We see our journal as contributing to the community of academics across different fields who use qualitative methods as a way of making sense of the world. We understand methods and methodology as a practice and as a perspective, and welcome contributions that reflect on and critically engage with both aspects. QR is a space where ideas and understandings are used to open up methodological issues for reflection and debate, and we work hard to provide a supportive environment to foster this ethos.

    1.2 Article Types

    Qualitative Research publishes articles, notes and reviews. Most of our submissions follow formal academic publishing guidelines, but we welcome creative and imaginative ways to explore qualitative methods and are open to conversations about the format and presentation of submissions.


    We publish articles that are original, critical and creative engagements with qualitative methods. Articles must have a clear methodological focus, and not simply present findings from qualitative studies. They should be between 7,500 and 8,500 words, excluding references. Any articles that fall below or above that range will be returned.


    Notes is a new format for short, engaging and imaginative submissions. It offers a more playful space for critical reflection on the craft of qualitative research. Authors are encouraged to experiment with styles of writing, and submissions can take the form of stories, anecdotes, or lessons that impart original methodological insights. Submissions should be between 2,000 and 4,000 words, excluding references.


    Reviews are an important contribution to Qualitative Research. We welcome proposals that connect with the aims and the scope of our journal by offering reflective readings of key contributions to methodological debates and discussions in qualitative research. Specifically, we invite traditional book reviews that critically engage with titles and identify connections to wider literature, as well as provide a more descriptive account of content. Here, reviewers should not be afraid to (kindly) consider the significance and clarity of the contribution.

    While our book reviews are usually around 800 to 1000 words and tend to focus on a single title, we also welcome longer review essays that explore two or three publications. If you would like to submit a proposal for a book review on the latest contribution or a classic of the genre, please get in touch with the editors, Your proposal should include a statement on why you would like to review the title(s) and how the piece relates to your own interests and expertise.

    Beyond the traditional book review, we also invite reviews of events, cultural artifacts, and other dissemination platforms. Here we welcome reviews of relevant conferences and colloquia, podcasts and radio programmes, novels, and documentary series. As with the book review, the word count should be 800 to 1000 words and explicitly relate to how the event/artifact furthers debates in qualitative research. Again, please contact the editors at with an outline of your proposal.

    Please note that Qualitative Research does not accept unsolicited reviews.

    1.3 Writing your paper

    When submitting to QR, there are a few things to consider. The main one is whether or not this is the right journal for your submission. Many of the submissions that we reject do not align with our aims and scope, so carefully consider whether or not we are a good fit for your work.

    You should also consider whether what you are arguing is original – does it add to or develop existing arguments on the methodological topic. This does not mean describing an existing approach in a different field; we want to see the methodological originality in your work. You need to have an awareness of existing arguments and present your work in relation to previous scholarship, whilst being clear about the contribution you are making within qualitative research.

    You should consider the debates that have happened in the pages of the journal. It is advisable that you read what we have published in your area of interest and illustrate how your work continues the debates already presented. In understanding what we have already published on the topic, you will determine how good a fit your submission is for this journal.

    The SAGE Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources.

    1.3.1 Make your article discoverable

    For information and guidance on how to make your article more discoverable, visit our Gateway page on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online

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    2. Editorial policies

    2.1 Peer review policy

    Qualitative Research operates an anonymous peer review process in which the reviewer’s name is withheld from the author and the author’s name from the reviewer. The reviewer may at their own discretion opt to reveal their name to the author in their review but our standard policy practice is for both identities to remain concealed. Each manuscript is reviewed by at least two referees. All manuscripts are reviewed as quickly and as carefully as possible. We request that reviewers act in a considered way when writing their reviews.

    2.2 Authorship

    All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. For any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis the student should normally be named as first author.

    2.3 Acknowledgements

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

    2.3.1 Third party submissions

    Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

    • Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
    • Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
    • Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

    Where appropriate, SAGE reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

    2.4 Funding

    Qualitative Research requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

    2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

    Qualitative Research encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway

    2.6 Research Data

    At SAGE we are committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research. Where relevant, the journal encourages authors to share their research data in a suitable public repository subject to ethical and methodological considerations and where data is included, to add a data accessibility statement in their manuscript file. Authors should also follow data citation principles. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway, which includes information about SAGE’s partnership with the data repository Figshare. For more information, including FAQs please visit the SAGE Research Data policy pages.

    We acknowledge this practice is not always relevant or appropriate for ethically sound qualitative inquiry, and so would encourage you to consider the unfolding ethical, legal and moral obligations linked to your research data on a case by case basis.

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    3. Publishing Policies

    3.1 Publication ethics

    SAGE is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

    3.1.1 Plagiarism

    Qualitative Research and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

    3.1.2 Prior publication

    If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a SAGE journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the SAGE Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

    3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

    Before publication, SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the SAGE Author Gateway

    3.3 Open access and author archiving

    Qualitative Research offers optional open access publishing via the SAGE Choice programme. For more information on Open Access publishing options at SAGE please visit SAGE Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.

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    4. Preparing your manuscript for submission

    4.1 Formatting

    • Attach to every submission a letter confirming that all authors have agreed to the submission and that the article is not currently being considered for publication by any other journal.
    • Include a title page with full title and subtitle (if any). For the purposes of blind refereeing, full name of each author with current affiliation and full address/phone/fax/email details plus short biographical note should be supplied on a separate sheet. The editors will not inspect the manuscript until this information is given.
    • Also for the purposes of blind refereeing, authors should replace all self-citations in the text and reference list with anonymous citations, in the style (Author, 2009), etc.
    • Any citation that includes any of the authors should be replaced with (Author A and others, 2003) in the text, and in the reference list at 'Au' put 'Author A and others (2003), details withheld for peer review' followed by Author B and others, if necessary.
    • Abstract of 100-150 words.
    • Up to 10 key words.
    • All authors must provide a full word count for their paper. The minimum word count is 7500 and the maximum is 8500 words excluding all references. Papers under the minimum and over the maximum word count will be unsubmitted.
    • The journal uses notes where necessary. Historical, documentary or archival sources should be cited in endnotes. Discursive endnotes are also allowed. Endnotes are signalled in the text by superscript numbers.
    • References in both the text and in any endnotes should follow SAGE Harvard style. References are cited in the text thus: (author, date: page).
    • An alphabetical References section should follow the text (and endnotes, if any) using the SAGE Harvard system.
    • All artwork, graphics, line diagrams and photographs are termed 'Figures' and should be referred to as such in the manuscript. They should be numbered consecutively. All figures should have short descriptive captions at the end of the document.
    • Articles must be written in English. Use a clear, readable style, avoiding jargon. If technical terms or acronyms must be included, define them when first used.
    • Non-discriminatory language is mandatory
    • UK or US spellings may be used with '-ize' spellings as given in the Oxford English Dictionary (e.g. organize, recognize).
    • Use single quotation marks with double quotes inside single quotes.
    • Dates should be presented in the form 1 May 2010. Do not use points in abbreviations, contractions or acronyms (e.g. AD, USA, Dr, PhD)
    • Qualitative Research adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

    Qualitative Research welcomes the inclusion of figures. There is no word count equivalent for figures, but images should be carefully selected and will be reviewed for their quality and suitability. .  

    For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.  

    Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

    4.3 Supplemental material

    This journal does not currently accept supplemental files.

    4.4 Reference style

    Qualitative Research adheres to the SAGE Harvard reference style. View the SAGE Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

    If you use EndNote  to manage references, you can download the SAGE Harvard EndNote output file..

    4.5 English language editing services

    Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using SAGE Language Services. Visit SAGE Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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    5. Submitting your manuscript

    Qualitative Research is hosted on SAGE Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

    IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    5.1 ORCID

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    5.2 Information required for completing your submission

    You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

    5.3 Permissions

    Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the SAGE Author Gateway.

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    6. On acceptance and publication

    6.1 SAGE Production

    Your SAGE Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal SAGE Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorising the change.

    6.2 Online First publication

    Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the SAGE Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.

    6.3 Access to your published article

    SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article.

    6.4 Promoting your article

    Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The SAGE Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. 

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    7. Further information

    Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Qualitative Research editorial office. Please email:

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