Volume 7, No. 2, Art. 36 – March 2006

Editorial

Günter Mey, Katja Mruck, Daniel Domínguez Figaredo & Iain Lang

"The reviews are thoughtful, detailed, and interesting. You are providing an important service to the qualitative research community" (Publisher).

The special issue published today (which comes in addition to the regular issues in January, May, and September) is the fourth one dedicated to FQS Reviews. Over 30 books are reviewed in FQS 7(2). Since we started FQS Reviews in April 2000, about 300 reviews and review essays had been published, written by approximately 150 authors from more than 20 countries: as mentioned in the epigraph, FQS has become an important resource for qualitative researchers also as far as book reviews are concerned. [1]

But we are not only pleased about the number of reviews published. Our interest is more generally to give our readers detailed information about books and the fields of research to which they refer. In our opinion, book reviews play a crucial role, similar to peer review for manuscripts submitted for publishing; as critical commentaries on published work they help to secure the quality of scientific publishing. [2]

Using the Internet as a "scholarly review resource" (see MEY, 2006 for further details) was an important aim of FQS Reviews from the outset. Our hope is that book reviews are no longer regarded as "second-class citizens of scientific literature," a connotation they often carry in print journals. [3]

The issue published today should be another step to ensuring that they are much more than this, and others will follow: there are currently about 30 reviews in preparation, and many German- and English-language books wait for new reviewers (see http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs/book-reviews/review-liste-e.htm). In addition to cooperating agreements with more than 20 publishers from Austria, Germany, Great Britain, North America, and Switzerland (see MEY, 2002), we are currently in discussions with publishers from Spain and South America with a view to including Spanish books in FQS Reviews in the future. [4]

This means new authors are welcome to contact us and to publish in FQS. In the past, authorship has resulted in close and extended collaboration: there is a growing number of authors publishing more than once in FQS (about a third of total of 150 book reviewers have published with us at least twice, and in the current issue this is the case for around half of the reviewers). Additionally, former reviewers became FQS editors: Kip JONES and Iain LANG, who co-edited this issue, first contacted FQS to review books: Kip's first review was published in 2000 (JONES, 2000), Iain's first in 2003 (LANG, 2003); Kip joined the editorial staff in 2001, Iain in 2004. Daniel DOMÍNGUEZ FIGAREDO, Associate Editor FQS Reviews (Spanish), published his first review essay in FQS 7(2) in both English and Spanish. [5]

That book reviews have the power to cause debates is obvious in the case of a review essay, written by Jaan VALSINER, who discussed a book on "Neue Medien in den Sozial-, Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften. Elektronisches Publizieren und Open Access" [New Media in the Humanities. Electronic Publishing and Open Access: Current State and Future Perspectives] (MRUCK & GERSMANN, 2004); a response by Wolff-Michael ROTH is published today (ROTH, 2006a), and others will follow. As editors of FQS we especially appreciate this debate, because we have signed the Budapest Open Access Initiative and have supported the international open access movement from the very beginning (see MRUCK, GRADMANN & MEY, 2004). It is our hope to initiate a debate about the concept, practice and importance of open-access publishing more deeply, because it is pretty clear that without the decision to publish FQS as an open access journal things would be completely different as far as the variety and reach of FQS are concerned. Currently more than 6,100 colleagues have subscribed to receive the monthly newsletter (which has contained news about open access since 2003). Authors publishing in FQS get in touch with an international community, as we know from the analysis of the access data and from individual responses. Two responses, one from a young German colleague and one from an experienced American researcher, should serve as examples:

"… By the way, I owe the invitation to the events to FQS. Two days after my article was published I received a mail from […], India. Somebody read my article and obviously enjoyed it ..."

"… We believe that it is important to make this paper available to a wider audience and we know that we can achieve this goal through your journal because of its readership and reach. This is why publication in FQS is so important. […] Just to illustrate the power of your journal's reach, […] I continue to receive many emails from novice […] researchers from literally every continent who have read the […] paper that you published …" [6]

The exchange possible in an open access journal is also evident in the continuing debate on constructionism that started with an interview with Ken GERGEN (MATTES & SCHRAUBE 2004) published in FQS 5(3), and which was commented upon by Carl RATNER and Barbara ZIELKE. In FQS 7(2), Jürgen VAN OORSCHOT and Lars ALLOLIO-NÄCKE try to clarify the theoretical positions important for this debate and suggest a possible integration of the former discussion—which probably means not the end of the debate but a new starting point. [7]

FQS 7(2) additionally contains a single contribution, a conference report, and several new articles, belonging to the FQS Debate "Qualitative Research and Ethics," which started in 2004. In a way the articles published today are a special issue within the special issue; see, for an introduction, Wolff-Michael ROTH's Editorial "Responsibility, Solidarity, and Ethics in Cogenerative Dialogue as Research Methods" (ROTH, 2006b). [8]

We would like to thank all who worked with us on this special issue and hope that you, the readers, will find the reading material interesting! The invitation of ROTH at the end of his Editorial to join the ongoing debate on "Qualitative Research and Ethics" fits FQS 7(2) in general: we hope that readers take this new issue "as an occasion to continue the debate wherever they are located (positioned!) in the world." [9]

Günter MEY, Katja MRUCK, Daniel DOMÍNGUEZ FIGAREDO & Iain LANG

References

Domínguez Figaredo, Daniel (2006, February). Educational ethnography beyond scholarly ethnography. Transferring meanings to cyberspace. Review Essay: Honorio M. Velasco Maillo, F. Javier García Castaño & Ángel Díaz de Rada (Eds.) (2003). Lecturas de antropología para educadores. El ámbito de la antropología de la educación y de la etnografía escolar [Readings on anthropology for educating. The field of educational anthropology and scholar ethnography] [26 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(2), Art. 2. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-06/06-2-2-e.htm [Date of access: March 25, 2006].

Jones, Kip (2000, November). "Big science or the bride stripped bare by her bachelors, even". Review Essay: Wendy Hollway & Tony Jefferson (2000). Doing qualitative research differently. Free association, narrative and the interview method [29 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 1(3), Art. 42. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/3-00/3-00review-jones-e.htm [Date of access: March 19, 2006].

Lang, Iain (2004, January). Review: Janice M. Morse & Lyn Richards (2002). Readme first for a user's guide to qualitative methods [13 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 5(1), Art. 28. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/1-04/1-04review-lang-e.htm [Date of access: March 19, 2006].

Mattes, Peter & Schraube, Ernst (2004, September). "'Old-stream' psychology will disappear with the dinosaurs!" Kenneth Gergen in conversation with Peter Mattes and Ernst Schraube [38 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 5(3), Art. 27. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/3-04/04-3-27-e.htm [Date of access: March 19, 2006].

Mey, Günter (2002, May). Editorial Note: 2 years FQS Reviews: 18 publishers, 74 reviews, 3383 mails [20 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 3(2), Art. 28. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-02/2-02mey-e.htm [Date of access: March 19, 2006].

Mey, Günter (2006, March). Editorial Note: Das Internet als "scholarly review resource". Einige Überlegungen zum E-Reviewing anlässlich des "Special Issue: FQS Book Reviews IV" [Editorial Note: The Internet as "scholarly review resource". Further considerations about e-reviewing on the occasion of the "Special Issue: FQS Book Reviews IV"] [42 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(2), Art. 46. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-06/06-2-42-e.htm [Date of access: March 19, 2006].

Mruck, Katja & Gersmann, Gudrun (Eds.) (2004). Neue Medien in den Sozial-, Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften. Elektronisches Publizieren und Open Access: Stand und Perspektiven [New media in the humanities. Electronic publishing and open access: Current state and future perspectives]. Historische Sozialforschung, 29(1), 5-257.

Mruck, Katja, Gradmann, Stefan & Mey, Günter (2004, April). Open Access: Wissenschaft als Öffentliches Gut [Open access: (social) sciences as public good] [32 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 5(2), Art. 14. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-04/2-04mrucketal-e.htm [Date of access: March 15, 2006].

Roth, Wolff-Michael (2006a, March). Thinking about open access—concretely [37 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(2), Art. 29. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-06/06-2-29-e.htm [Date of access: March 24, 2006].

Roth, Wolff-Michael (2006b, March). Editorial: Responsibility, solidarity, and ethics in cogenerative dialogue as research methods [10 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(2), Art. 45. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-06/06-2-45-e.htm [Date of access: March 24, 2006].

Valsiner, Jaan (2006, March). "Open access" and its social context. Review Essay: Katja Mruck & Gudrun Gersmann (Eds.) (2004). Neue Medien in den Sozial-, Geistes- und Kulturwissenschaften. Elektronisches Publizieren und Open Access: Stand und Perspektiven [New Media in the Humanities. Electronic Publishing and Open Access: Current State and Future Perspectives] [18 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(2), Art. 23. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-06/06-2-23-e.htm [Date of access: March 24, 2006].

van Oorschot, Jürgen & Allolio-Näcke, Lars (2006, March). Against the luxury of misunderstanding. Revisiting the debate between Carl Ratner and Barbara Zielke on an interview with Kenneth J. Gergen and his theory of social constructionism [46 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 7(2), Art. 17. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-06/06-2-17-e.htm [Date of access: March 24, 2006].

Citation

Mey, Günter; Mruck, Katja; Domínguez Figaredo, Daniel & Lang, Iain (2006). Editorial [9 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 7(2), Art. 36, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0602367.



Copyright (c) 2006 Günter Mey, Katja Mruck, Daniel Domínguez Figaredo, Iain Lang

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