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International Journal of Educational Research

Curated by Ronald J. Chenail

❶The journal covers issues addressed by researchers within academic and independent research organizations in different areas.

Excerpt from Editorial, Volume 12, Issue 1:

Objectives
creative approaches to research
Also of Interest

In addition to EQRC, the journal also publishes juried papers from a number of other quality conferences, following independent peer-review by JEQR staff and its review board members. Please notify the JEQR editor if you are aware of other qualitative research conferences that may desire affiliation with the journal. JEQR also welcomes submissions of all manuscripts that have not been presented at conferences.

Although authors often benefit from the feedback received through conference presentation, it is not an explicit or implicit requirement for JEQR publication and the editorial staff welcome all original manuscripts that are not simultaneously under other journal publication consideration or review. Summary of Instructions to Authors. Initial Screening by Journal Editors. Although more complex definitions of mixed method studies exist e. This definition reflects the general definitions of mixed methods and the lack of consensus on a specific definition across all multidisciplinary mixed methods researchers.

Similar methods have been used in other evaluations of mixed methods articles Powell et al. Random samples of qualitative and quantitative articles were selected using a random number generator and did not adjust for journal or year. We assessed the frequency of key methodological components reported across articles, then compared rates by article type. The methodological components we focused on were drawn from two conceptual frameworks.

The first included Sale and Brazil's criteria: The second was O'Cathain's transparency criteria for mixed methods studies O'Cathain, Murphy, and Nicholl ; O'Cathain , which specify that mixed methods studies should state the 1 priority of methods primarily quantitative, primarily qualitative, or equal priority , 2 purpose of mixing methods e.

We assessed four additional components of mixed methods studies: We assessed components using categories of 0 not described , 1 described , or not applicable e.

We identified only whether the study contained or did not contain each methodological component and did not attempt to assess quality or appropriateness of each component within the context of the study. For example, we assessed whether the publication stated that missing data were addressed but not whether the methods to address missing data were the best methods for that particular research design.

Once all articles were coded, we conducted a statistical analysis to determine whether there were trends over time in the prevalence of mixed methods articles. To assess this, we used linear regression to test the hypothesis that there would be an increase in the prevalence of the number of mixed methods articles over time.

We also conducted chi-square tests to assess differences between mixed methods, qualitative, and quantitative articles on both quantitative and qualitative criteria. We tested whether each criterion was present in the same proportion of quantitative studies as in the quantitative portion of the mixed methods studies and in the same proportion of qualitative studies as in the qualitative portion of the mixed methods studies.

In general, coders could easily categorize the type of study. For example, some papers indicated that data from interviews were included but did not provide details about who was interviewed, what was asked in the interviews, how the interview data were analyzed, or how the interview data were integrated into the overall study. How has the frequency of mixed methods studies published in health services journals changed over time?

Table 1 presents a summary of the types of articles published in four major health services research journals from through Quantitative research represented The journal containing the highest proportion of empirical studies employing a mixed methods design was Milbank Quarterly 8. Mixed, mixed method articles; Qual, qualitative articles; Quant, quantitative articles.

To detect temporal trends in the frequency of mixed methods research in the health services literature, articles were collapsed across journal and examined by publication year. Table 2 presents the frequency of article type for each of the 5 years. All journals combined published an average of How are mixed methods articles being used to elucidate health services research?

Mixed methods articles were categorized into four overlapping categories: Sixteen articles described outcomes or effects of policies or initiatives by combining administrative health record or performance data with interviews of health administrators, providers, or executives.

Examples include papers describing outcomes of pay-for-performance changes to Medicaid Felt-Lisk, Gimm, and Peterson ; Rosenthal et al. Thirteen measurement development articles employed mixed methods to create measurement tools to assess, for example, caregiver burden Cousineau et al. These studies typically examined qualitative data from individual or focus group interviews first to inform creation and testing of a survey.

Only five mixed methods articles Do mixed methods articles report qualitative and quantitative methodology differently than methodology is reported in qualitative-only or quantitative-only articles?

No article met all criteria, and no criterion was met by all articles. Of quantitative components, mixed methods studies were most likely to describe sources of data and data collection instruments Most mixed methods studies did not include control and intervention groups, which excluded related criteria.

Quantitative studies tended to contain more key methodological components, with more than 90 percent of studies defining outcome measures Quantitative studies were more likely than the quantitative portion of mixed methods studies to describe study characteristics e.

More than 50 percent of qualitative studies triangulated qualitative sources Qualitative studies were more likely than the qualitative portions of the mixed methods studies to describe the study setting, justify the sampling strategy, participants, and data-gathering procedures.

For criteria regarding method integration, few authors justified the use of mixed methods or clearly described the priority, purpose, and sequence of methods, and the stage of integration. Most articles, however, integrated qualitative and quantitative components Since then, however, the National Institutes of Health has increased funding for mixed methods research, with the proportion of funded research projects up to 5 percent of studies in some institutes Plano Clark In the United Kingdom, the proportion of funded research that uses mixed methods is at 17 percent and continuing to increase O'Cathain, Murphy, and Nicholl We found that the use of mixed methods in articles published in top health services research journals was generally consistent between and at approximately 3 percent of all empirical articles, lower than would be expected given the complexity and depth of health services research questions for which mixed methods would be appropriate.

The presence of key methodological components was variable across type of article, but the quantitative portion of mixed methods articles included consistently fewer methodological components than quantitative-only studies and the qualitative portion of mixed methods articles included about the same proportion of methodological components as qualitative-only articles.

Mixed methods articles also generally did not address the priority, purpose, and sequence of methods or the integration of methods as suggested by experts in mixed methods e. Key methodological components that cut across qualitative and quantitative methodologies were often missing from mixed methods publications. Descriptions of sample selection and sampling procedures, the study context, and data-gathering procedures are essential aspects of interpreting study findings, and mixed methods studies should not be exempt from these basic research requirements.

Many mixed methods studies did not include the level of detail that would likely be required for a qualitative or quantitative paper to be accepted in these high-ranking journals. Further, the studies appeared not to follow available guidance on the structure and components of mixed methods studies that discuss basic quality criteria, data collection strategies, methods of data analysis, procedures for integration of methods, processes of making inferences from text, and recommendations for adequate reporting of results e.

In some ways this finding is not surprising because guidance on mixed methods standards is still emerging. It should be noted, however, that quantitative articles with large sample sizes do not necessarily need power analyses. With regard to single-method qualitative articles, low proportions described the study context, coding techniques, or data analysis.

Few articles with human subjects involvement included statements that the research was conducted with ethical oversight, promised confidentiality, or obtained consent. These findings suggest that the issue of poor transparency in reporting methodology is not limited to mixed methods studies. The methodological components reported here are not optimal indicators of the quality of mixed methods publications; an article could conceivably have all of these components and yet still be a poor research study.

These components are, however, a useful starting point for a systematic evaluation of the rigor of qualitative and quantitative portions of mixed methods studies. Some journals require inclusion of other criteria e. It is difficult, however, to identify measurable criteria that capture the breadth of study designs in health services. Further, determination of what indicators of rigor would be appropriate might reasonably vary by study design, topic, scope, and even journal, and qualified judgment is required to determine which criteria are appropriate for each study.

These findings suggest mixed methods researchers should provide enough detail on methodology and methodological decisions to allow reviewers to judge quality. Researchers face challenges writing and publishing mixed methods articles, including communicating with diverse audiences who are familiar with only one methodological approach i. Our findings suggest that Sale and Brazil's criteria and existing guidance on conducting mixed methods research e.

Journal editors might also encourage the publication of mixed methods projects by 1 publishing guidelines for rigor in mixed methods articles e. These modifications might require 5 some flexibility in word count or allowance of online appendices to allow mixed methods researchers to describe fully and concisely both qualitative and quantitative components, methods for integrating findings, and appropriate details.

In this study, assessment was limited to only published articles. We did not contact authors to determine specific study activities, and studies may have included methodological components e. We assessed only whether publications reported the methodological component, but we did not evaluate whether each component was fully and appropriately implemented in the research.

This is evident when one takes a look at back issues of FQS , or at the continuously increasing number of accesses to our server. FQS will continue to play a part in promoting the development of qualitative research by linking interdisciplinary and international discourse and by using different Internet tools.

In so doing, it will follow the standards of the traditional print media and use their potential, while at the same time endeavoring to systematically harness the resources and advantages of the Internet. Using traditional print media often means that quite a long time elapses before contributions can be published.

In FQS , however, articles can be made available as soon as they have passed the peer-review and copy-editing process and have been adapted for the Internet. Traditional print media generally work within an exactly defined space.

FQS , on the other hand, can handle space in a much more flexible way. This is also in the interests of scientific quality control. Due to limited space and in the interests of concision, traditional media must generally dispense with a detailed description of the research process and the presentation of the empirical basis of the individual contributions. FQS , by contrast, is able to provide access to more detailed information about the research process and even to the original data, thereby facilitating scientific quality control and offering a broader basis for further discussion.

Direct interaction among authors, editors, members of the editorial board and readers: Readers can contact authors, members of the editorial staff or members of the editorial board directly via e-mail. In its first two years, the development of FQS depended more or less on private efforts. This was not enough to maintain it on a long-term basis.

That is why we decided to apply for financial support from a public funding organization for academic research. The application was approved and two pilot projects had been funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft German Research Foundation. FQS is an open-access journal, so all full texts are accessible free of charge: Because FQS is an explorative project, it has an open forum in which the content and formal design of the journal are developed in cooperation with all of its stakeholders—readers, authors, editorial board members and editors alike.

Questions, suggestions, and all possible types of support are welcomed and appreciated, just send us an e-mail. In order to open the forum up for meaningful discussion about the development and status of qualitative methods in the individual disciplines, FQS thematic issues present traditional stances, current research methodologies, empirical emphases and disciplinary perspectives.

Previous thematic issues have focused, for example, on Cultural Sciences, Psychology, Criminology, and Sport Sciences, while other issues have been devoted to topics of interest to researchers regardless of their disciplinary and national backgrounds see back issues. They are edited by guest editors who organize the review and publishing process in close collaboration with the FQS staff. Contributions for a thematic issue are usually submitted in response to a Call for Papers published in our Newsletter and in certain mailing lists.

In addition, selected authors are invited directly to participate in a thematic issue. If you are interested in guest editing an FQS thematic issue, or if you have any suggestions for possible topics, please feel free to send us an e-mail.

Every thematic issue also contains, along with the contributions which directly have to do with the respective thematic emphasis, selected individual contributions from different fields of qualitative research. Single contributions can be submitted at any point in time. We are especially interested in. Also preferred are contributions that deal with the current status of social sciences e.

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