Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Mentoring Qualitative Research Authors Globally: The Qualitative Report Experience

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Mentoring Qualitative Research Authors Globally: The Qualitative Report Experience

Article excerpt

Authoring quality qualitative inquiry is a challenge for most researchers. A lack of local mentors can make writing even more difficult. To meet this need, The Qualitative Report (TQR) has helped authors from around the world develop their papers into published articles. TQR editorial team members will discuss the history of the journal, their philosophy of author development; manuscript development strategies; solutions for managing differences; challenges working worldwide; authors' feedback; and the collective global futures of TQR and qualitative researchers. Key Words: Qualitative Research, Mentoring, Peer Review, and The Qualitative Report

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Authoring quality qualitative inquiry is a challenge for most researchers. A lack of local resources, especially mentors, can make writing even more difficult. Many would-be authors find themselves isolated and have to undertake this process without guidance from local experienced qualitative researchers. In these situations, students, faculty, and other professionals look worldwide through the Internet for resources and support. The good news is there is a growing availability of full-text qualitative research articles, papers, monographs, and reports that can become the virtual library for these researchers: The bad news is qualitative research is best learned through active engagement in research and writing processes; activities which usually require active guidance, supervision, and mentoring in order to produce quality outcomes. We are concerned that many qualitative researchers work without sufficient support and guidance to conduct and present exemplary qualitative inquiries, oftentimes contributing to negative evaluations and a general lack of appreciation of the value of qualitative work by the research community-at-large.

To address this concern and advance the quality of qualitative research worldwide, there must be opportunities for researchers, regardless of location, to work together, share expertise, and provide guidance. We, the editors of The Qualitative Report (TQR, ISSN 1052-0147, http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/index.html), an English language, online, open-access journal, help authors from around the world develop their qualitative research papers into published articles. We uphold the journal's mission to mentor authors and to support them throughout the entire paper development process. In doing so, we have envisioned TQR as a learning environment dedicated to helping all authors produce papers of excellence and distinction.

In the TQR editorial system, all authors who submit papers are accepted as members of TQR's community, which means that we create a context for the authors and the editorial team to work together, to improve the manuscripts for publication in TQR. The hallmark of TQR is not rejection rates; rather, it is to assist authors to improve their texts to the highest quality. Our success in meeting this mission is exemplified by a recent grant awarded from the Open Society Initiative in recognition of TQR's editorial support of authors from developing and transition countries such as Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa, and Turkey.

In this paper the TQR editorial team will discuss our process of supporting and guiding global authors to produce and make accessible exemplary qualitative research articles. To this end we will (a) describe our journal's historical and philosophical foundation, (b) illustrate our manuscript development strategies from initial submission to final publication, (c) explore the challenges of working with global authors, (d) share feedback from authors, and (e) reflect on the collective global futures of TQR and qualitative researchers.

TQR: A Brief History

Ron Chenail started The Qualitative Report in 1990 (Chenail, 1990a, 1990b) in response to the emerging needs in the counseling, psychotherapy, social work, and marital and family therapy (MFT) communities, which were beginning to adopt ethnographic, phenomenological, and discursive research methods (Atkinson, Heath, & Chenail, 1991; Moon, Dillon, & Sprenkle, 1990, 1991). …

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