2016 Holiday Gift Guide for Qualitative Researchers

It is that season of the year when you may be thinking about gifts for your nearest and dearest qualitative researchers. Here are some ideas for gift-giving. And please share your ideas in the comment box below.

Getting organized

For the qualitative researcher who relies on digital tools, some organizational help for all those cords and chargers is in order. Try out these reusable rubber gear twist ties by Gear Tie Technology. No more lost chargers! And they come in all sizes and colors to color coordinate with any digital device.

The smartphone has become an indispensable tool for the qualitative researcher. Smartphones now provide all-in-one tools for taking notes, reading articles and books, taking photos, and audio- and video-recording, in addition to accessing apps that support various Qualitative Data Analysis software or stories, organizing and synching files across devices. Without a case, if you drop your phone, it is likely to break. That is why any researcher needs a sturdy case for their phones. Otterbox provides a full range to fit any phone in all sorts of colors. And it works. I know this because my phone has survived some unanticipated falls…

It can be a challenge to keep track of files, websites, and information across multiple devices. Evernote is one of many tools that can help a researcher to keep track of information and data collected during a research study across tools. There are a variety of subscription plans available.

Getting to work

My local favorite for coffee in Athens, Georgia, is Jittery Joe’s. Jittery Joe’s, available in many flavors, will help any qualitative researcher get a good start to the next project, and more importantly, keep going.

Writing fieldnotes

For lovers of paper and those who find that taking notes on a laptop in the field is obtrusive, these notebooks will do the trick. A set of three Notabilia on-the-go notebooks are perfect for the ethnographer who wants to keep track of things. Add one or more to your gift bags…

Getting a grip on your reading list

Pierre Bayard, a professor of French literature and a psychoanalyst, published the book How to talk about books you haven’t read in 2009. If you missed it, you can now download an e-version or buy the paperback copy. Of course, qualitative researchers will have to read it to gain a sense of how it might help them deal with the increasing number of books that report on qualitative research studies and how to do research.

Studying social theory

Fans of social theory will appreciate these Theory Cards that feature 21 social theorists from Walter Benjamin to Judith Butler to Michel Foucault.  Although a little dated (you won’t find Karen Barad, for example), the cards provide a quick introduction to these scholars with a dash of humor. First published as actual cards, for the digital devotee pursuing a paperless path, there is now a free online set.

Taking care of the body: Healthy eating

If the qualitative researchers you know are going to finish those dissertations, articles, chapters or books they are working on, they will need to keep their strength up. The most recent dietary guidelines in the US suggest that we eat more fruit and vegetables, and less sugar and refined carbohydrates. Look no further than Alice Water’s book, The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden for some inspiration for what to do with fruit and vegetables.

Stand up!

Encourage the qualitative researcher in your life to avoid spending hours sitting hunched over a laptop or computer. A standing desk may do the trick. Followed by a walk and more vigorous exercise.

Rewards after a job well done

After a long hard day – transcribing, reading for a literature review, editing that chapter, article or dissertation, qualitative researchers might want to reward themselves for a job well done. Belgian chocolates are prized by any chocolate lover. Look no further than Leonidas Fresh Belgian Chocolates.


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