Qualitative Research Journals

There are a growing number of journals that publish qualitative studies in particular disciplines. One of the oldest of these is Qualitative Sociology, established in 1978. Since that time, journals have been founded that focus on research in education (International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, founded in 1988), health (Qualitative Health Research, founded in 1991), market research (Qualitative Market Research, founded in 1998), social work (Qualitative Social Work, founded in 2002), psychology (Qualitative Research in Psychology, founded in 2004), and organizations and management (Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, founded in 2006), among others.

A number of journals focus on qualitative research methodology. These include:

  • Qualitative Inquiry, founded in 1995
  • Qualitative Research, founded in 2001
  • Qualitative Research Journal, founded in 2001
  • International Review of Qualitative Research, founded in 2010

Open access journals include:

  • The Qualitative Report, founded in 1990
  • Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research, founded in 1999. This journal publishes articles in German, English and Spanish.
  • International Journal of Qualitative Methods, founded in 2002.

The proliferation of journals that support publication of empirical research that uses qualitative methods, in addition to journals that focus specifically on the methodological and theoretical issues to do with qualitative inquiry provide a wealth of information on how researchers across disciplines approach their work.

Although I try to routinely check all of these journals for what has been published, and use the Table of Contents alerts to notify me of the contents of current issues, two journals I check frequently are Qualitative Inquiry and Qualitative Research.

Qualitative Inquiry, with a 2015 impact factor of 1.934, is edited by Norman K. Denzin and Yvonna Lincoln. This journal publishes methodological articles that innovate on traditional representational formats. For example, one can find poems, performance scripts, and fictional narratives among more traditionally formatted articles. Published 10 times a year, this journal also publishes themed issues focusing on methodological and theoretical innovations in the field of qualitative inquiry methods. For example, in 2016, special issues celebrated the legacy of H. L. “Bud” Goodall, Jr., and presented articles on teaching qualitative research as a transgressive practice. Special issues in 2015 focused on biographical research, critical race theory, as well as an issue celebrating 20 years of publishing in Qualitative Inquiry.

Qualitative Research, with a 2015 impact factor of 1.671, was founded by Paul Atkinson and Sara Delamont at Cardiff University. This journal has recently had a change in editorship to a team, including Bella Dicks, Karen Henwood, William Housley and Robin Smith. Published 6 times a year, like Qualitative Inquiry, Qualitative Research publishes methodological articles from scholars all over the world. Qualitative Research has also assembled prior publications into virtual special issues pertaining to specific topics and debates (e.g., working with children and young people, the challenges of fieldwork).

Any of the journals mentioned above provides a point of entry into a rapidly growing field characterized by innovation and creativity. See the link at the top of this page to locate links to the home pages of the journals mentioned here. There is much to learn and enjoy.

Happy reading!

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