[Editor’s Note: We are pleased to reproduce Trish Reay’s editorial, “Publishing Qualitative Research” from the April issue of Family Business Review.]
As associate editor at Family Business Review
(FBR), I have received and managed many manuscripts based on qualitative research methods. In the past 5 years (2009-2013), almost 15% of articles published in FBR were based on qualitative methods. With FBR’s acceptance rate of about 10%, this means that we have received and processed a great deal more qualitative submissions in total. My experience is that the quality of these manuscripts varies widely. When improvement is needed, I find that there are a number of common strategies I consistently suggest to authors in my editorial letters. This editorial article is primarily designed to combine these suggestions into one document. In addition, I asked a few others for their suggestions about how to publish qualitative research. In response to my request, I received excellent feedback from a number of FBR associate editors, reviewers, and authors who have experience with qualitative methods. I thank them all!
Below you will find seven strategies that I believe capture most of the suggestions I received and that reflect my personal experiences. These strategies relate to publishing qualitative research—focusing on the point in time when a study is mostly completed and authors are beginning the process of developing a journal article; my hope is that attention to these strategies will help (especially new) qualitative researchers navigate the publishing process.