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Qualitative Research Resources

Find sources of qualitative training & support at UNC. How to search for and evaluate qualitative research, integrate qualitative research into systematic reviews, report/publish qualitative research. Includes some Mixed Methods resources.

About this Page

Why is this information important?

As a qualitative health science researcher, it can be challenging to know where to submit your work for publication.

  • Although acceptance of qualitative research is growing in the health science fields, some  familiar high-impact scientific journals may be less likely to publish it.
  • Other high-impact journals that focus exclusively on qualitative research but may be less familiar.

On this page you'll find:

  • basic advice for finding journals to submit to
  • tools to help you identify high quality journals in your field
  • a selection of journals that specialize in qualitative health research
  • a list of medical and health journals that have a good track record of publishing qualitative research. 

Journal Selection Considerations

Where you publish can be as important as what you publish. 

Consider the following when selecting a journal to which to submit your article:

  • Relevance: The journal should publish research that is relevant to your work, the type of article that you want to publish, and reach the audience that you want to read your work.  For interdisciplinary research, finding a relevant journal may mean looking beyond the journals in your field.
  • Discoverability: The journal should be indexed by major citation and abstract databases, such as PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus.
  • Quality: Where does the journal ranked according to impact factor and other measures of journal quality?  Who is on the editorial board of the journal?
  • Public Access: Does your article need to comply with the NIH Public Access Policy
  • Open Access: Do you wish to publish in an open access journal, which will make the full text of your work freely available online at the time of publication? 

Check out the boxes below for resources on finding a journal and evaluating journal quality.

Evaluating Journal Quality

You want to submit your work to journals that are of high quality. That usually means that:

  • The journal is relatively highly ranked on Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, or SCImago ranking
  • The people on the editorial board of the journal are reputable within their fields.
  • If the journal is Open Access, it is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association.

Here are some tools to help you evaluate the quality of particular journals.

  1. Measure Your Research Impact: This UNC guide explains the different ways that impact is measured for both academic authors and articles, and offers tips on how to find impact information on individual journals.
  2. Google Scholar's Top Publications List: Google Scholar provides lists of the top journals in various disciplines, ranked by the h-index measurement of impact.
  3. InCites Journal Citation Reports: This resource is updated once a year, and provides the Impact Factor and Eigenfactor scores for over 10,000 academic Journals.
  4. Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association: This link will take you to a list of this organization's members. Many Open Access journals are new; checking to see that they are OASPA members is a good way to make sure they are legitimate and high quality.
  5. Journal Author/Name Estimator (JANE): JANE offers a combination of journal discovery and impact factor information. You can paste your abstract into the interface or search by keyword in order to get a list of journals that have published similar research, similar articles they have published, and the journal's impact factors.
  6. PubMedReminer: This tool is similar to JANE, but only for journals and publications that are indexed in PubMed. It also allows you to find the research interests of a particular author, or look for the top authors within a particular health science discipline. 

Selected Health Journals Publishing Qualitative Research

Publishing Autoethnography

*Some General and Health-related Publishers of Autoethnography from Dr. Hughes' book:


Anthropology & Education Quarterly
Qualitative Social Research
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Journal of Research in Nursing
Qualitative Health Research
Qualitative Inquiry
Qualitative Report
Qualitative Research
Substance Use and Misuse

Academic Publishers
AltaMira Press (Rowman & Littlefield)
Information Age Publishers
Left Coast Press (Routledge)
Palgrave Macmillan
Peter Lang Publishers
SAGE Publishing
Sense Publishers

*Excerpted from Hughes, S. A. (2017). Autoethnography : process, product, and possibility for critical social research. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc, pp. 187-190

Additional Ideas for Selecting a Journal

Consider the following when searching for and selecting a journal:

  • Is the journal peer-reviewed?
  • Is the journal relevant to your research?  Check your references to see what journals they were published in.
  • Does the journal publish the type of article that you wish to submit?
  • Does the journal reach the audience that you want to read your research?
  • Where is the journal indexed?  This information can often be found on the journal's website, or check Ulrichsweb (see below).
  • Do you wish to publish in an open access journal? 
  • Does the journal have an article processing charge (APC)?  Many open access journals have an APC. 

Listed below are several resources for finding journals in which to publish your research.

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