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Journal overview

A key feature of the Journal is its mixed audience of researchers within academic and other research organizations as well as practitioner-researchers in the field. The Journal therefore aims to publish high quality methodological discussions which typically draw on a mix of academic and practice-based research in professional and service settings, and those considering the relationship between the two.

The Journal provides

• a focus for on-going and emerging methodological debates across a range of approaches, both qualitative and quantitative, and including mixed, comparative and simulation methods, as these relate to philosophical, theoretical, ethical, political and practical issues;
• an international medium for the publication of discussions of social research methodology and practices across a wide range of social science disciplines and substantive interests; and
• a forum for researchers based in all sectors to consider and evaluate methods as these relate to research practice.

The International Journal of Social Research Methodology welcomes single article contributions relating to methodology and methods that:

• draw out the generic implications for methods or methodology that are not limited to a specific topic area or discipline; and
• treats the substantive findings of the research as illustrative of specific methodological approaches rather than as a substantive aspect of the article;
In doing so, submitted articles:
• provide an original contribution to current cutting-edge methodological debates
• go beyond describing the research process of a particular project
• are more than 'how to do X?' discussions, and instead critically engage with methodological issues and concerns as they relate to doing social research in general;
• can be appreciated by readers who may or may not be experts in a particular methodological approach or concept;
• critically reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of specific approaches to provide robust arguments in relation to a particular method or methodology.

We do not consider article submissions that:

• Discuss a particular substantive context and findings, such that the methods are not the focus of the article (e.g. women’s educational achievement in UAE, or mixed ethnicity couple relations
• Focus on methods in relation to a specific disciplinary context without consideration for a wider social science and methodological audience (e.g. focus group methods in psychology without thought to how these methods are used in other disciplines)
• Descriptive or summative overviews of a particular research project (or projects) or the methodology chapter from a thesis or grant.
• Verge on containing more equations than text, and are not accessible to general readership

Short articles

In addition to full-length research articles, we encourage authors to submit ‘short articles’. These are shorter in length than research articles (e.g., 1500-3000 words) and focus on an element of research practice and methods as highlighted within a specific context. Short articles may involve less conventional outputs, as well as short essays discussing previous work, single observations, or a focused intervention to a methods debate (e.g., commentaries on up-and-coming methodological issues or concerns, novel methods in development, or a novel perspective on established methods).

Book reviews
The International Journal of Social Research Methodology commissions review articles, but also welcomes suggestions from potential reviewers. Reviews can take various forms, for example multiple reviews of a single publication or two or three publications, or a review article of several publications (usually no more than four) from a single reviewer. We are open to consideration of other formats, but we do not usually consider single book reviews. A review forum or article should not exceed 6000 words.

Proposers of reviews should submit a proposal of around 200 words describing their review and listing the publication(s), and, where appropriate, the names and affiliations of other reviewers. The review article should be submitted in the usual way and will be subject to the refereeing process. As with any offer of publication in the Journal, the editors' decision is final.

Peer review policy

All articles published in this journal have undergone internal Editorial scrutiny as well as anonymous, double-anonymized review. There are three stages to the review process. Stage 1: The Editors of the journal read all papers submitted. They agree either to send them out for peer review, or to desk reject if the piece does not fit the journal remit or there are identified problems. Stage 2: The peer review process for our journal is rigorous, thorough and involves a number of scholars. These include Editorial Board and Reviewer College members, and other reviewers who are experts in aspects of the article field. Stage 3: The editors consider the article in the light of all the reviewers’ reports they have received and come to a decision on whether the submission should be accepted, sent back for revision, or rejected. The editors’ decision is final.

Authors can choose to publish gold open access in this journal. Read the Instructions for Authors for information on how to submit your article.

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