2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Qualitative Researchers 

The holidays are rapidly approaching! And for those qualitative researchers everywhere who have been so busy planning for a qualitative study, or generating, gathering, and analyzing data and writing up findings – I’ve prepared a holiday gift guide just in case you have not had time to think about that yet… Enjoy! As always, more suggestions are welcome.

For qualitative researchers in the field setting or office

  1. Keeping hydrated

As you know, busy qualitative researchers need to stay hydrated. What better tool for that than a stainless steel cup or bottle? Yeti produces a range of drinkware to keep your drinks cold or hot. Perfect in the office or out in the field while you are collecting data. The favorite cup in my office is the Rambler Lowball, because it keeps my tea or coffee hot for hours… but there’s plenty of others to choose from too. And of course if researchers want to meet friends for a drink at the end of a long day in the field or office, they can bring their stunning drinkware with them.

  1. Enjoying meetings

OK, not everyone loves another meeting, but what better way for qualitative researchers to enjoy the company of others at meetings then offering good quality tea? Guests may not remember what was discussed, but they will remember that excellent brew! And for qualitative researchers who need some time out from company in the field or at the office, this tea provides an excellent accompaniment for catching up on reading.

  1. Staying powered up

With all these gadgets and devices, a USB battery pack will be valued by any qualitative researcher embarking on extended field work (or data analysis and writing). Here’s a useful guide to battery packs and power banks that will help to decide which one to get for the qualitative researcher in your life. How much more could Margaret Mead have written with one of these, than hand-writing and typing up her field notes?

  1. Jotting notes

Some readers write in books, underlining important passages with ink… but what about all those library books that are needed for a new research study? Encourage your favorite qualitative researcher to return these books to the library in as good a shape as when received by giving them a set of sticky notes of various sizes.

  1. Thanking participants

The busy qualitative researcher can always do with some notecards on hand to thank research participants and colleagues for their contributions. What about a range to suit any occasion?

Quotes from Albert Einstein

Or Emily Dickinson 

Or simply go Indigo

  1. Kick starting writing to finish that article, book or dissertation

Perhaps you know someone whose writing is in a slump. This person just can’t finish that article, thesis or dissertation. Look no further than the Academic Ladder for help.This is a subscription service that is guaranteed to help lapsed writers to get back into the chair, and start typing through to the finish. Lots of good advice within a positive and friendly environment, with anonymity assured. (Who wants to admit that they’ve stopped writing altogether?) This gift might not be precisely what the lapsed writer in your life was looking for, but they’ll thank you when they’ve finally submitted that article, thesis, or dissertation.

  1. Dealing with everyday life

One never knows when a pocket knife will come in handy for opening boxes (yes, more books!), or preparing lunch (one has to eat some time). Opinel makes pocket knives for all occasions. I keep mine in my office drawer. And it’s not necessary to travel to France to get one (although a return ticket to Paris would be greatly appreciated by any qualitative researcher as an interlude to extended fieldwork).

Enjoying down time

  1. Learning something new

You may have heard that all work and no play makes for a dull person. Even the most productive and dedicated qualitative researcher needs to take  time out for all those good ideas to simmer and come together. What better way to take time out then to make something? Your intended gift recipient might enjoy learning how to build furniture, garden, cook, knit, crochet, dye, sew, or weave. If they already do, then there’s still plenty of things to learn. Try Craftsy.com for inspiration

  1. For yarn lovers

My local yarn store (LYS), Revival Yarns  has lots of lovely yarn to choose from. If you are looking for some beautiful yarn for a qualitative researcher who enjoys knitting, crocheting,  weaving, or yarn hoarding, support your local community by visiting the LYS in your town. And if don’t have a local yarn store, try

Halcyon Yarn 

Yarn Barn of Kansas 


  1. For music lovers

November 24, 2017 saw the re-release of the 40th anniversary edition of the Eagles’ album, Hotel California (which actually was first released in December, 1976). For people my age, just dust off the LP hidden at the back of the cupboard in the living room and present this  vintage item to a qualitative researcher in your life. For younger researchers among us, who perhaps might think that the only eagles of note look like this:


they’ll be able to enjoy a Blu-ray disc in order to consider the question of why 32 million copies of this album have sold worldwide.

Kathy Roulston 



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