Staller & Krumer-Nevo recently published an editorial in the journal Qualitative Social Work outlining a list of how to write a “rigorous publishable qualitative study”, based on a presentation at the 2013 annual conference of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). (I found it interesting when the authors claimed that qualitative research has not always been welcomed at SSWR, and so they had to advocate for a spot at this year’s conference. I wonder if this implies that qualitative research is not considered rigorous enough in social work research circles and/ or if it feeds into qualitative researchers’ insecurity that their work is not taken seriously.)
I found their advice extremely useful and relevant to all forms of research not just qualitative. So, now I have this advice hanging on the wall beside my desk. For those who do not visit my office regularly, here is the list:
- Know your reading audience. Ask and answer questions of interest to your audience.
- Write well.
- Do not confuse methods with methodology.
- Present your methodology as a coherent, consistent, and integrated whole.
- Impose intellectual discipline.
- Pay attention to a balance between creativity and rigor in writing and methods.
- For reviews and revisions, know when to be humble and when to fight back.