Volume 6, No. 2, Art. 45 – May 2005

Editorial: The FQS Issue on "Qualitative Inquiry: Research, Archiving, and Reuse"

César A. Cisneros Puebla, Katja Mruck & Wolff-Michael Roth

Table of Contents





Dear Readers,

As announced in the January editorial (MRUCK 2005), the issue on Qualitative Inquiry: Research, Archiving, and Reuse (BERGMAN & EBERLE 2005) published today is closely linked to FQS 1(3) on Text . Archive . Re-Analysis (CORTI, KLUGE, MRUCK & OPITZ 2000) and FQS 6(1) on Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data (CORTI, WITZEL & BISHOP 2005).1) [1]

While FQS 1(3) provided a first overview over qualitative archiving, data protection, and secondary analysis, FQS 6(1) indicates the important progress in the field of secondary analyses that has occurred between 2000 and 2005; it also highlights the necessity for further discussion. This especially concerns the endeavor to launch qualitative data and resource centers, partly organized nationally but interlinked internationally. The contributions presented in the current issue originate in a workshop held in Neuchâtel, which aimed to promote qualitative research in Switzerland and was organized by the Social Science Policy Council—a committee of the Swiss Academy for Humanities and Social Sciences—in cooperation with the Swiss Information and Data Archive Service for the Social Sciences. From the perspective of the Swiss colleagues, one important goal was "to build a network among qualitative researchers, to facilitate a consensus on quality standards and teaching requirements, and to explore the viability of an archive and resource center for qualitative research" (EBERLE & BERGMAN 2005, Paragraph 1). Although contributors were limited to major European institutions, their reports are not only interesting to researchers within Europe. The relevance of sharing our experiences about "The Why and How of Qualitative Methods" and "The Why and How of Archiving Qualitative Data" was the reason for the FQS editorial team to publish the texts, although already available as a print version,2) to make them accessible for all colleagues worldwide, interested in organizing (collaborative) resource centers. [2]

From the very beginning of FQS (MRUCK 2000) our ideas embraced the goal to develop the journal as a means not only for information and publishing, but also for interaction and networking. Nowadays any project about generating archives or resource centers has international relevance because it will be possible and necessary to learn from/contribute to other national perspectives and experiences. The globalization of qualitative research has diverse dimensions, practices, legacies, challenges, and potentialities raised from the local perspectives of the practitioners, users, agencies, institutions, and researches. Research, archiving, and teaching have different levels of realization depending on the national context and the living interaction between all the people involved in qualitative inquiry. [3]

Knowledge and tools produced in diverse parts of the world and the opportunity of having "different approaches and practices circulating within the global community of researchers" depict a truly global image of qualitative research (ALASUUTARI 2004, p.606). The current issue hopefully will provide a powerful inspiration of thoughts, strategies, and perspectives to networking similar efforts over the world. And for sure, our readers from Latin America, Africa, or Asia will find their own ways of dealing with the challenges of archiving, reusing, and secondary qualitative data analysis while comparing the success and failures of similar efforts in other countries. Furthermore, the contributors to this issue may receive requests to consult or mentor analogous projects in other latitudes. We are already aware of how the appealing nature of generating qualitative data archives and resource centers—organized nationally but continentally based and interlinked internationally—is increasingly calling the attention of our colleagues in some regions of a globalized qualitative research world. However regarding the Spanish speaking FQS community, the papers received to date for a future issue on The State of the Art of Qualitative Research in Ibero America are not making salient the topics involved in the discussions that has begun with the issues on Qualitative Inquiry: Research, Archiving, and Reuse, on Text. Archive. Re-Analysis and on Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data. We hope the current issue will encourage researchers from other regions to share their experiences, fears, obstacles, and challenges in these fields. [4]

Publishing in FQS means contributing to the stock of globalized qualitative research knowledge, as scholar work is distributed to a broad international audience. Currently about 5,200 colleagues receive our monthly newsletter, and information about new issues is posted to various international mailing lists. To increase the benefit of publishing in FQS, selected FQS abstracts have been included, for example, in CSA Illumina for some time: Coverage begins with FQS 1(1), January 2000, and ends with FQS 5(3), September 2004; selections from 2005 will be added in early June. We are pleased to inform our readers that from now on, FQS abstracts will also be included in the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences. Additionally, in 2004 FQS signed a non-exclusive license agreement with EBSCO Publishing, and FQS full texts are included in SocINDEX; coverage begins with FQS 5(1). [5]

The idea behind the inclusion of FQS abstracts/full texts in traditional databases is to increase the impact of your work, our journal and of the open access movement, thereby expanding access that would accrue from the Internet alone. This seems to be especially necessary given that until now many appreciate the work and value of open access journals such as FQS and many researchers in the sciences and the humanities profit from the growing importance of the open access movement, but they have had only limited awareness of the open access idea.3) Knowledge about open access is still limited to a large amount to some core (information) science disciplines. [6]

A main difficulty of increasing the impact of open access (online) journals lies in the culture of publication and the reward systems, especially in North America and other countries following the North American models. Tenure and promotion considerations are often based on the number of articles and "quality" of the journals in which a faculty member publishes. Especially the quality criteria are based on ISI ratings or journal rejection rates—the higher the rejection rate of a journal, the higher its perceived value in tenure and promotion meetings; print journals are valued higher than online journals. To increase the impact of our and other journals, we have to break the cycles of reproduction that valorize traditional print journals over the free access to equally high quality research in open access journals. With the growing importance of the international open access movement the necessity to adjust university reward systems to a changed globalized and virtualized research society at least started to reach governments and top university administrators.4) But a lot of work lies ahead of us to make open access (online) journals as accepted in academe around the world with respect to the career opportunities as the more traditional print-based journals. And a lot of work needs to be done not only to increase the visibility and relevance of open access in the humanities and social sciences, but also to increase the visibility and relevance of the humanities and social sciences in the international open access movement. [7]

César A. Cisneros Puebla (Mexico), Katja Mruck (Germany) and Wolff-Michael Roth (Canada) on behalf of the FQS Editorial Team


1) As always, in addition to contributions relating to "Qualitative Inquiry: Research, Archiving, and Reuse," FQS 6(2) also provides articles that belong to the FQS Debate on Qualitative Research and Ethics, to FQS Interviews, FQS Reviews, and to FQS Conferences. We would like to see the contributions increase especially concerning the three Debates, for these allow us to critically reflect on our activities as researchers and academics in ways that we often cannot do in a world that all too often represses critical reflection on what we do in general and how we reproduce the positive and not so positive aspects of academe. <back>

2) You may order the book from: Schweizerische Akadamie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften, Hirschengraben 11, Postfach 8160, CH-3001 Bern. Tel.: ++41 31 313 14 40, fax: ++41 31 313 14 50, e-mail: info@sagw.unibe.ch. <back>

3) In the humanities and social sciences, just "one road" to open access—publishing in open access journals—is used, the "second road," self-archiving in institutional repositories, is most times ignored; see http://www.eprints.org/signup/sign.php to register "Institutional OA Self-Archiving Policies" and the various efforts especially of Stevan HARNAD to stress the "Need to Take Both Roads to Open Access" in the American-Scientist-Open-Access-Forum. <back>

4) See for example the signatories of the "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities" and the follow-up conference "Berlin 3" on the Progress in Implementing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in February 2005 in Southampton, UK. For information about the current state of open access in Germany see for example FOURNIER 2005 and the papers, presented at the DINI Symposium on Open Access (see http://www.dini.de/veranstaltung/workshop/goettingen_2005-05-23/programm.php and SIETMANN 2005 for a short summary; a presentation on "The Art of Doing Open Access: some considerations about the impact of open access movement, self-archiving and publishing on the humanities and social sciences" by MRUCK and MEY 2005 is also available online). <back>


Alasuutari, Pertti (2004). The Globalization of Qualitative Research. In Clive Seale, Giampietro Gobo, Jaber Gubrium & David Silverman (Eds.), Qualitative Research Practice (pp.595-608). London: Sage.

Bergman, Manfred Max & Eberle, Thomas S. (Eds.) (2005). Qualitative Inquiry: Research, Archiving, and Reuse. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 6(2). Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs/fqs-e/inhalt2-05-e.htm [Date of access: May 29, 2005].

Corti, Louise; Kluge, Susann; Mruck, Katja & Opitz, Diane (Eds.) (2000). Text. Archive. Re-Analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(3). Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs/fqs-e/inhalt3-00-e.htm [Date of access: April 22, 2005].

Corti, Louise; Witzel, Andreas & Bishop, Libby (Eds.) (2000). Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 5(1). Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs/fqs-e/inhalt1-05-e.htm [Date of access: May 18, 2005].

Eberle, Thomas S. & Bergman, Manfred Max (2005). Introduction [14 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 6(2), Art. 30. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-05/05-2-30-e.htm [Date of access: May 29, 2005].

Fournier, Johannes (2005). The DFG (German Research Foundation) Study of Author Experience of Open Access. Berlin 3: Progress in Implementing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, February 28th-March 1st, 2005, University of Southampton, UK. Available at: http://www.eprints.org/berlin3/ppts/05-JohannesFournier.ppt [Date of access: May 29, 2005].

Mruck, Katja (2000). FQS—Idea, Realisation, Future Perspectives [25 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 1(1), Art. 1. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/1-00/1-00hrsg1-e.htm [Date of access: May 29, 2005].

Mruck, Katja (2005). Editorial: The FQS Issue on "Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data" [6 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 6(1), Art. 48. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/1-05/05-1-48-e.htm [Date of access: May 29, 2005].

Mruck, Katja & Mey, Günter (2005). The Art of "Doing" Open Access: Some Considerations About the Impact of Open Access Movement, Self-archiving and Publishing on the Humanities and Social Sciences. DINI Symposium "Wissenschaftliches Publizieren der Zukunft – Open Access", May 23-24, 2005, University of Göttingen, Germany. Available at: http://www.dini.de/veranstaltung/workshop/goettingen_2005-05-23/slides/mruck/Mruck.html [Date of access: May 29, 2005].

Sietmann, Richard (2005). "Open Access" als Publikationsalternative unter Wissenschaftlern kaum bekannt. Heise online, 23.05.2005, http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/59796 [Date of access: May 29, 2005].


Cisneros Puebla, César A.; Mruck, Katja & Roth, Wolff-Michael (2005). Editorial: The FQS Issue on "Qualitative Inquiry: Research, Archiving, and Reuse" [7 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(2), Art. 45, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0502453.

Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research (FQS)

ISSN 1438-5627

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