Qualitative Social Work provides a forum for those interested in qualitative research and evaluation and in qualitative approaches to practice.
The journal includes the following regular special features:
Response and Commentary
Responses to previous articles in the journal or contributions that initiate discussion of current research and practice issues.
Practice and Teaching of Qualitative Social Work
Critical 'how-to' accounts and reflections on the methodology and practice of qualitative social work.
‘New Voices’ seeks submissions to this journal that are considered innovative and novel ways of conducting research and representing findings. We are particularly interested in the execution of new methodologies, innovative means of data collection, and the exploration of subject matter not previously researched. ‘New Voices’ aims to encourage the originality of perspectives of scholars in the early stage of publishing their work, and social workers who present novel insights in applying quality inquiry to their practice. We are also interested in submissions from practitioner-researchers, who bring a wealth of field experience and knowledge. We are especially willing to hear the voices of those who shed light on the perspectives of people historically marginalised in the literature, and those of social workers engaged in anti-oppressive practice.
Articles may take the form of concise reviews, syntheses, reports, innovative and creative writing forms, or reflective analyses based on practice accounts. The incorporation of non-written material such as photographs and artifacts is also welcomed. Article length should not exceed 4000 words.
Reviews of developments that impact on qualitative research and practice such as qualitative analysis software and voice activated recording devices.
This journal accepts supplementary materials, e.g. audio/video files, datasets, additional images etc. For more information please see our guidelines
"Qualitative Social Work has become an extraordinary resource for social scientists and practitioners alike." Catherine Kohler Riessman, Boston College, USA
"QSW is a key reference source both for substansive studies and for methodological papers." Mike Fisher, Social Care Institute for Excellence, UK
"In five short years Qualitative Social Work has become a pre-eminent journal, showcasing the range, usefulness and forms of qualitative social work research. This journal has been long-overdue." Norman K. Denzin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
"Qualitative Social Work bridges the theory-practice divide by providing up-to-date field-based research that develops and tests the theoretical foundations of social work practice. Equally important, it brings the rigorous thinking of research to bear in investigating scholarly work on social work practice and issues. Both scholars and practitioners need access to this important resource." Michael Q. Patton, Ph.D.
"Qualitative Social Work provides a truly international forum for academics and practitioners to explore the interrelationship between qualitative research and knowledge practice in social work and related disciplines. In encouraging reflection on both the outcomes and processes of research and practice it will contribute to internationally relevant knowledge creation and quality practice. A journal of this stature is most welcome and long overdue." Joan Orme, Glasgow University
Qualitative Social Work is available to browse online.
Qualitative Social Work provides a forum for those interested in qualitative research and evaluation and in qualitative approaches to practice. The journal facilitates interactive dialogue and integration between those interested in qualitative research and methodology and those involved in the world of practice. It reflects the fact that these worlds are increasingly international and interdisciplinary in nature. The journal is a forum for rigorous dialogue that promotes qualitatively informed professional practice and inquiry.
In addition to articles on qualitative research, evaluation and practice, the journal promotes exchange and conversation on:
- The role of critical perspectives within social work
- The nature of reflective inquiry and practice
- Emerging applications of critical realism in social work
- The potential of social constructionist and narrative approaches to research and practice
The basic assumptions of all forms of research and of practice are being challenged. We invite journal contributors to engage with that challenge and to do so in the primary contexts of social work and the evaluation of practice. Practitioners and those articulating international and interdisciplinary perspectives are particularly encouraged to submit articles and commentary.
This journal accepts supplementary materials, e.g. audio/video files, datasets, additional images etc.
|Lancaster University, UK
|Lissette M Piedra
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA
|University of Otago, New Zealand
|California State University, San Bernardino, USA
|Massey University, New Zealand
|California State University, San Bernardino, USA
|University of Michigan, USA
|Sector de Serveis Personals, Barcelona, Spain
|University of Vermont
|University of Minnesota, USA
|Tel Aviv University, Israel
|Stanley L Witkin
|University of Vermont, USA
|Universidad de Valencia, Spain
|Free University of Berlin, Germany
|University of Vermont, USA
|Nova Southeastern University, USA
|Carol L. Cleaveland
|George Mason University, USA
|University of Birmingham, UK
|Warwickshire Council, UK
|Zvi C. Eisikovits
|University of Haifa, Israel
|Linnaeus University, Sweden
|University of Haifa, Israel
|Case Western Reserve University, USA
|University of Washington, USA
|University of Bath, UK
|Northumbria University, UK
|Linköping University, Sweden
|c/o Deutscher Verein fur offentlich und private Fursorge, Frankfurt, Germany
|University of Helsinki, Finland
|Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan
|University of Missouri-Columbia, USA
|Free University of Bolzano, Italy
|Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA
|Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
|Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan
|University of Glasgow, UK
|Deakin University, Australia
|Jason L. Powell
|University of Liverpool, UK
|Catherine Kholer Riessman
|Boston College, USA
|University of South Florida, USA
|York University, Toronto, Canada
|Jan Jaap Rothuizen
|National Institute for Social Education, Denmark
|School of Social Work, Massey University
|University of Southern California, USA
|University of Pretoria, South Africa
|University of Exeter, UK
|Dalhousie University, Canada
|Portland State University, USA
|University of Birmingham , UK
|Queen's University Belfast, UK
Please read the guidelines below then visit the Journal’s submission site http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/qsw to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.
Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Qualitative Social Work will be reviewed.
There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this Journal. Open Access options are available - see section 3.3 below.
As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Qualitative Social Work may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy.
If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.
- What do we publish?
1.1 Aims & Scope
1.2 Article types
1.3 Writing your paper
- Editorial policies
2.1 Peer review policy
2.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
2.6 Research data
- Publishing policies
3.1 Publication ethics
3.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
3.3 Open access and author archiving
- Preparing your manuscript
4.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
4.3 Supplemental material
4.4 Reference style
4.5 English language editing services
- Submitting your manuscript
5.2 Information required for completing your submission
- On acceptance and publication
6.1 Sage Production
6.2 Online First publication
6.3 Access to your published article
6.4 Promoting your article
- Further information
Before submitting your manuscript to Qualitative Social Work, please ensure you have read the Aims & Scope
The journal encourages the submission of original manuscripts, commentary and essays devoted to the examination of issues related to qualitative research and evaluation and to qualitative approaches to social work practice. Manuscripts submitted for main articles should be 15-25 double spaced pages (4,000-7,000 words) in length, including references, figures and tables. All articles should be accompanied by relevant keywords and an abstract of no more than 250 words.
The journal also invites articles for regular special features. These include:
New Voices: ‘New voices’ seeks submissions to this journal that are considered ‘new’ in many ways. The ‘newness’ may relate to novel ways of conducting research and representing findings. We are particularly interested in the execution of new methodologies, innovative means of data collection, and the exploration of subject matter not previously researched. New voices relate to the originality of perspectives formed by scholars who are in the early stage of publishing their work, and social workers who present novel insights in the application of quality inquiry to their practice. We are also interested in submissions from practitioner-researchers, who bring a wealth of field experience and knowledge. We are especially willing to hear the voices of those who shed light on the perspectives of people historically marginalised in the literature, and those of social workers engaged in anti-oppressive practice.
Articles may take the form of concise reviews, syntheses, reports, innovative and creative writing forms, or reflective analyses based of practice accounts. The incorporation of non-written materials is also welcomed. Article length should not exceed 4000 words.
Response and Commentary: This section includes responses to previous articles in the journal or contributions that initiate discussion of current research and practice issues. Usually 4-6 pages (1,000-1,500 words).
Practice and Teaching of Qualitative Social Work: Critical 'how-to' accounts and reflections on the methodology and practice of Qualitative Social Work. Normally 10-15 pages (2,750-4,000 words).
Technical Applications: Reviews of developments that impact on qualitative research and practice such as qualitative analysis software and voice activated recording devices. Normally 5-10 pages (1,200-2,500 words).
The journal will produce occasional themed issues on topics of current interest.
The Sage Author Gateway has some general advice and on how to get published, plus links to further resources. Sage Author Services also offers authors a variety of ways to improve and enhance their article including English language editing, plagiarism detection, and video abstract and infographic preparation.
1.3.1 Make your article discoverable
For information and guidance on how to make your article more discoverable, visit our Gateway page on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.
Sage does not permit the use of author-suggested (recommended) reviewers at any stage of the submission process, be that through the web-based submission system or other communication. Reviewers should be experts in their fields and should be able to provide an objective assessment of the manuscript. Our policy is that reviewers should not be assigned to a paper if:
• The reviewer is based at the same institution as any of the co-authors
• The reviewer is based at the funding body of the paper
• The author has recommended the reviewer
• The reviewer has provided a personal (e.g. Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail) email account and an institutional email account cannot be found after performing a basic Google search (name, department and institution).
All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.
Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.
All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.
Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.
2.3.1 Third party submissions
Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:
- Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input
- Identify any entities that paid for this assistance
- Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.
Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.
Qualitative Social Work requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading. Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Qualitative Social Work encourages authors to include a declaration of any conflicting interests and recommends you review the good practice guidelines on the Sage Journal Author Gateway
The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.
Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:
- share your research data in a relevant public data repository
- include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
- cite this data in your research
Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway
Qualitative Social Work and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.
3.1.2 Prior publication
If material has been previously published it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.
Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway
Qualitative Social Work offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice programme and Open Access agreements, where authors can publish open access either discounted or free of charge depending on the agreement with Sage. Find out if your institution is participating by visiting Open Access Agreements at Sage. For more information on Open Access publishing options at Sage please visit Sage Open Access. For information on funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit Sage’s Author Archiving and Re-Use Guidelines and Publishing Policies.
The preferred format for your manuscript is Word. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.
For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines
Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from Sage after receipt of your accepted article.
This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files
Qualitative Social Work adheres to the Sage Harvard reference style. View the Sage Harvard guidelines to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.
Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.
Qualitative Social Work is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/qsw to login and submit your article online.
IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created. For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help.
As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.
The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID ID you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID ID will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.
You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).
Qualitative Social Work requires all authors to upload a CV along with their cover letter. Please ensure the CV is recent, and is uploaded in Word format.
Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway
Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.
Online First allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite Online First articles.
Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.
Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.
Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to one of the Qualitative Social Work editorial offices as follows:
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign