Qualitative Psychology®

ISSN: 2326-3598
eISSN: 2326-3601
Published: biannually, beginning in February

Journal Snapshot

Submit a Manuscript

Special Section Proposal Guidelines

Qualitative Psychology Makes a Comeback
Incoming editor Ruthellen Josselson seeks to bring this form of inquiry back to the important position it deserves
(from Monitor on Psychology, September 2013)


The mission of the journal Qualitative Psychology® is to provide a forum for innovative methodological, theoretical, and empirical work that advances qualitative inquiry in psychology. The Journal will publish articles that underscore the distinctive contributions that qualitative research can make to the advancement of psychological knowledge. Studies published in this Journal will often focus on substantive topics, while also highlighting issues of epistemology, the philosophy of science, methodological criteria, or other matters bearing upon the formulation, execution, and interpretation of qualitative research.

Qualitative Psychology will publish studies that represent a wide variety of methodological approaches including narrative, discourse analysis, life history, phenomenology, ethnography, action research, and case study. The Journal is further concerned with discussions of teaching qualitative research and training of qualitative researchers.

Qualitative Psychology® is a registered trademark of American Psychological Association
Editorial Board


Ruthellen Josselson
Fielding Graduate University

Associate Editors

David Frost
Columbia University

Phillip L. Hammack
University of California at Santa Cruz

Suzanne Kirschner
College of the Holy Cross

Lisa Osbeck
University of West Georgia

Jefferson Singer
Connecticut College

Consulting Editors

Mark Freeman
College of the Holy Cross

Kenneth J. Gergen
Swarthmore College

Editorial Board

Rosemarie Anderson
Sofia University

Molly Andrews
University of East London, United Kingdom

Michael Bamberg
Clark University

Sunil Bhatia
Connecticut College

Virginia Braun
The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Svend Brinkmann
University of Aalborg, Denmark

Scott Churchill
University of Dallas

Nancy Deutsch
University of Virginia

Michelle Fine
The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Constance Fischer
Duquesne University

Dan Fishman
Rutgers University

Hanoch Flum
Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

Valerie Futch
University of Virginia

Gilbert Garza
University of Dallas

Marco Gemignani
Duquesne University

Mary M. Gergen
Pennsylvania State University

Carol Gilligan
New York University

David Goodman
Lesley University

Tova Hartmann
Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Michele Harway
Fielding Graduate University

Lynne Layton
Harvard Medical School

Amia Lieblich
The Hebrew University, Jerusalem and the Academic College for Society and the Arts, Israel

M. Brinton Lykes
Boston College

Anna Madill
University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Jeanne Marecek
Swarthmore College

Joe Maxwell
George Mason University

Sara McClelland
University of Michigan

Kate McLean
Western Washington University

Linda McMullen
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

Chaim Noy
University of South Florida

Brad Olson
National Louis University

Susan Opotow
City University of New York

Don Polkinghorne
Fielding Graduate University

Brent Robbins
Point Park University

João Salgado
Instituto Superior da Maia, Portugal

Brian Schiff
American University of Paris, France

Richard Shweder
University of Chicago

Louise Silverstein
Yeshiva University

Ilina Singh
King's College, London, United Kingdom

Brent Slife
Brigham Young University

Cristian Tileaga
Loughborough University, United Kingdom

Deborah L. Tolman
Hunter College School of Social Work and The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Jaan Valsiner
Aalborg University, Denmark and Clark University

Cynthia Winston
Howard University

Stanton Wortham
University of Pennsylvania

Abstracting & Indexing

Abstracting and indexing services providing coverage of Qualitative Psychology®

  • PsycINFO
Instructions to Authors

Prior to submission, please carefully read and follow the submission guidelines detailed below. Manuscripts that do not conform to the submission guidelines may be returned without review.


Submit manuscripts electronically through the Manuscript Submission Portal.

Ruthellen Josselson
The Fielding Graduate University

Manuscript Submission Portal Entrance

Qualitative inquiry is relatively unbounded and affords a great deal of opportunity for creativity and originality. Thus, the editorship of the journal is going to specify general rather than rigid criteria for evaluation of submissions and will endeavor to stay open to novel approaches.

Nevertheless, there are some criteria that we'd like to outline in order to ensure that the articles published in Qualitative Psychology® are meritorious and of the highest quality. Articles will be evaluated according to the below criteria:

Theoretical or Methodological Articles

  • Does the article advance our understanding of qualitative inquiry in terms of conceptualization or approach?
  • Does the article position itself within approaches to the philosophy of science, interpretation theory, or epistemology?
  • Does the article lay out postulates or hypotheses that lend themselves to further investigation through qualitative inquiry and/or additional theoretical analysis?
  • Does the article adequately engage with existing literature?

Articles Reporting Results of Original Research

  • Is the topic meaningful? Is the presentation persuasive and illuminating? Will readers be enlightened on the topic by this article? Does the work advance psychological understanding?
  • Is there adequate conceptualization (as opposed to simple description or reporting of themes)? Are there larger psychological questions addressed beyond reporting thematic description of a particular group of people?
  • Has relevant other literature been joined? Is the relationship between this study and previous studies explicit?
  • Has the mode of inquiry been explicated in detail so the reader can judge whether it was adequate and appropriate for the issues in question? This includes some discussion of the procedures of the work, and the processes of analysis and interpretation, and of how ethical challenges were met.
  • Has the researcher taken into reflexive account his or her own role in the inquiry? Are assumptions and biases recognized?
  • Does this work engage with methodological questions or debates? For some studies, the researcher might explicitly argue for the value of using a methodology that is different from the methods typically used to study this topic. In other cases, the researcher might explain how his or her study's design or findings further develop (or even challenge) some aspect of the qualitative approach it employs.
  • Are interpretations well-grounded in presentation of data?
  • Is there evidence that the researcher was tolerant of ambiguity, searched for alternative explanations, and considered negative instances? Is broader relevance considered?
  • Is the contribution substantial in offering a sophisticated understanding of some aspect of human experience? Is this understanding deeply grounded in some stated perspective?
  • Is the article well-written, thoughtfully shaped, sufficiently complex and engaging? Does the presentation invite further discussion?

As Qualitative Psychology will be published online as well as in print format, we strongly encourage the use of voice and video files (used with appropriate disguise and permission) to document your study.

Special Sections

Please see the Special Section Proposal Guidelines for detailed information on proposing special sections.

Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts submitted to Qualitative Psychology should be prepared in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (2010).

Review APA's Checklist for Manuscript Submission before submitting your article.


Double-space all copy. If specific participants are discussed in the article, please refer to them with names rather than initials. 

Use pseudonyms unless there is some reason to use actual names and you have written permission to do so. 

Other formatting instructions, as well as instructions on preparing tables, figures, references, metrics, and abstracts, appear in the Manual.


Use Word's Insert Table function when you create tables. Using spaces or tabs in your table will create problems when the table is typeset and may result in errors.

Submitting Supplemental Materials

APA can place supplemental materials online, available via the published article in the PsycARTICLES® database. Please see Supplementing Your Article With Online Material for more details.

Abstract and Keywords

All manuscripts must include an abstract containing a maximum of 250 words typed on a separate page. After the abstract, please supply up to five keywords or brief phrases.


List references in alphabetical order. Each listed reference should be cited in text, and each text citation should be listed in the References section.

Examples of basic reference formats:

  • Journal Article:
    Hughes, G., Desantis, A., & Waszak, F. (2013). Mechanisms of intentional binding and sensory attenuation: The role of temporal prediction, temporal control, identity prediction, and motor prediction. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 133–151. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0028566
  • Authored Book:
    Rogers, T. T., & McClelland, J. L. (2004). Semantic cognition: A parallel distributed processing approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Chapter in an Edited Book:
    Gill, M. J., & Sypher, B. D. (2009). Workplace incivility and organizational trust. In P. Lutgen-Sandvik & B. D. Sypher (Eds.), Destructive organizational communication: Processes, consequences, and constructive ways of organizing (pp. 53–73). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.


Graphics files are welcome if supplied as Tiff or EPS files. Multipanel figures (i.e., figures with parts labeled a, b, c, d, etc.) should be assembled into one file.

The minimum line weight for line art is 0.5 point for optimal printing.

For more information about acceptable resolutions, fonts, sizing, and other figure issues, please see the general guidelines.

When possible, please place symbol legends below the figure instead of to the side.

APA offers authors the option to publish their figures online in color without the costs associated with print publication of color figures.

The same caption will appear on both the online (color) and print (black and white) versions. To ensure that the figure can be understood in both formats, authors should add alternative wording (e.g., "the red (dark gray) bars represent") as needed.

For authors who prefer their figures to be published in color both in print and online, original color figures can be printed in color at the editor's and publisher's discretion provided the author agrees to pay:

  • $900 for one figure
  • An additional $600 for the second figure
  • An additional $450 for each subsequent figure


Authors of accepted papers must obtain and provide to the editor on final acceptance all necessary permissions to reproduce in print and electronic form any copyrighted work, including test materials (or portions thereof), photographs, and other graphic images (including those used as stimuli in experiments).

On advice of counsel, APA may decline to publish any image whose copyright status is unknown.

Publication Policies

APA policy prohibits an author from submitting the same manuscript for concurrent consideration by two or more publications.

See also APA Journals® Internet Posting Guidelines.

APA requires authors to reveal any possible conflict of interest in the conduct and reporting of research (e.g., financial interests in a test or procedure, funding by pharmaceutical companies for drug research).

Authors of accepted manuscripts are required to transfer the copyright to APA.

Ethical Principles

It is a violation of APA Ethical Principles to publish "as original data, data that have been previously published" (Standard 8.13).

In addition, APA Ethical Principles specify that "after research results are published, psychologists do not withhold the data on which their conclusions are based from other competent professionals who seek to verify the substantive claims through reanalysis and who intend to use such data only for that purpose, provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and unless legal rights concerning proprietary data preclude their release" (Standard 8.14).

APA expects authors to adhere to these standards. Specifically, APA expects authors to have their data available throughout the editorial review process and for at least 5 years after the date of publication.

Authors are required to state in writing that they have complied with APA ethical standards in the treatment of their participants, human or animal, or to describe the details of treatment. Authors must also state that they have permission to use any interview material, voice or video samples obtained from their participants and have sufficiently disguised material to assure anonymity (unless they have written permission not to do so).

The APA Ethics Office provides the full Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct electronically on its website in HTML, PDF, and Word format. You may also request a copy by emailing or calling the APA Ethics Office (202-336-5930). You may also read "Ethical Principles," December 1992, American Psychologist, Vol. 47, pp. 1597–1611.

Other Information