I've written two papers, one using a qualitative method and the other one using a mixed method. Although I think that every method is significant in its own area of research, however, based on my experiences, I find out that my paper with the mixed method is more appreciated by the editors or reviewers; and my other paper with the qualitative approach seems to get rejected more often.

my qualitative methodology includes these sections:

  1. the swot analysis that I've been used.
  2. details of several visits with the specified date.
  3. qualitative interviews to better understand the case.
  4. sources of secondary data.
  5. and the process of the paper.

So my question is "Is qualitative method welcomed by the editors/reviewers"? If the answer is yes and it is not the issue so what am I missing here? Should I include something more? should I use a new method or kind of model to attract reviewers' comments?

  • The title and the questions at the end don't match, which is confusing. – henning -- reinstate Monica Jun 29 at 9:42
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    I assume this depends heavily on field. For some questions in philosophy the only possible approach might be qualitative. But even within a field, I would guess, and hope, that you need to align the approach (methodology) with the question(s) asked. – Buffy Jun 29 at 11:39
  • In the social sciences it even depends on the journal. – henning -- reinstate Monica Jun 29 at 14:11
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    What does your advisor think - you must have discussed both papers at length... – Solar Mike Jun 29 at 14:47
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    Perhaps the editor isn't familiar with that sort of research. The implication might be that a different journal would be better, or that you need to re-think the paper. Without an advisor, I'd only suggest you find a couple of papers that are trying to do something similar and figure out how they do it. – Buffy Jun 29 at 15:29

Every research method can be thought of much like a movie genre. What makes a good comedy doesn't necessarily make for a good drama, and anytime genres combine deciding what is good can be different (as with mixed methods). Judgements change over time, and vary between sets of critics as well. Research works like that - what makes for a good paper is devilishly hard to pin down, and what one community loves another community can hate. People with more than 20 years of experience in this process have told me they are still surprised how some of their favorite papers end up poorly reviewed, while others they thought were marginal or unlikely to be accepted won awards. Sometimes they feel that what was unacceptable one year suddenly became hot the very next year. Reviewers are conducted by humans, and lets face it - humans are a wild and messy lot!

Everything I've been told and seen points to only one solution: develop your own tastes and judgement in research to use to guide your own work, try to learn what sort of things some people like and some don't, and write what you think will be good - but then get other people's opinions (formal reviewers or informal colleagues) and revise according to what you think makes sense, but taking into account what other people tell you. Try a lot, get rejected a lot, keep at it.

Some things people have in common - almost everyone wants to know why out of all the possible methods you could have taken, these are the ones that are appropriate the research topic, and that the conclusions you derive are supported and valid given the methods you used. Some people care about rigor more than others, but both quantitative and qualitative methods have their own standards and methods of being rigorous, so you have to know your method and learn to speak about it clearly and convincingly.

Try different styles, different techniques, different venues. Read what other people like, what people criticize, and what they praise. Accept that there is a heavy random factor in both the sampling of who you get as a reviewer as well as how the weather made them feel that particular day they reviewed your paper, and get use to a whole lot of rejection and noisy signals. Improve what you know to improve and try again.

In the words of a cartoon scientist, "Sometimes science is more art than science".

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