The pace of publication – does qualitative take longer?

I just had my first paper from my dissertation published: Comparing Experts and Novices on Scaffolded Data Visualizations using Eye-tracking. It was on the (mostly) quantitative results of my mixed-methods study, completed in early 2013. My co-author and I started on it last fall, and submitted it in April of this year. The review was supposed to take 6 weeks, but they had trouble finding reviewers, so around August I asked what the status was, we found another reviewer, and we got reviews in September. We made changes, resubmitted early October, and last week I got notice it was accepted and could be published this month if we made final revisions by today. This morning, the email came that it is published. So, overall just over a year to actual publication, because the journal is online (and some of their revision cycles are even faster, according to their web site!).

I wonder, however, if it’s also because the work is quantitative, or at least more mainstream than the interviews? Actually, it has a section on the qualitative results of the eye-tracking I did, too, but the reviewers really didn’t say much about these. In any case, the main results from my dissertation, on the interviews I did, are further behind in the process. I’ve had to submit to at least 3 journals at this point, due to length issues, then scope issues. To do the work justice, I’ve had to keep it long, as it is interviews, and the results for the reviewers to judge can’t be distilled into neat little tables. The first journal hadn’t listed length restrictions but actually had them and said it would be of interest if it was shorter, so I went to a different journal that had the longest length I could find but was so competitive that they didn’t accept the paper in the shape it was in. Then I cut the paper so far down that the first journal decided it wasn’t in scope after all. At the same time, I’ve had pushback on another qualitative methods paper I’ve tried to submit because it is a less familiar method to that field, partly because, again due to length restrictions, I couldn’t explain in sufficient detail for the reviewers.

So, the title of this post wasn’t intended to be a pun or double-entendre, but I guess it is. Are the lengths related, that is, the necessity to write longer papers to fully explain qualitative work means longer time to publication, due to fewer journals and less familiarity with some of the methods? This is a completely unscientific sample, of course, because I’ve been writing these papers different lengths of time, the quantitative journal was completely online and pretty specialized, but the ease of the process for the quantitative paper with which *I* was less comfortable (my collaborator is the statistician), even with the trouble finding reviewers, makes me wonder. It’s almost enough to make me want to do quantitative research from here on out.


Posted: December 8, 2014

Tags: Data Visualization, Katie Stofer, Science Education Research


Katie Stofer

May 23, 2022

Hi Yilmazcan, I don't have that answer for you. I would suggest you reach out to the company, Pufferfish, Ltd., to get a more detailed answer and specifications. Apologies for the long delay on seeing your comment!

Katie Stofer

May 3, 2019

Great, thanks for reading and for sharing your experience! I think all manner of faculty research support is welcome and a great option.

Kim Taylor Kruse
May 2, 2019

Fundraising can be another option. I have a bachelor's in biology and master's in science communication, and I work with university faculty to identify and secure funding from companies and foundations.

Kathryn (Katie) Stofer
August 17, 2018

So a followup on this - I have installed the extension in my browser, and when registering for a conference, it contextualizes the numbers for me. I haven't tried it on airfare or lodging though! friday and saturday Early rate: $300 [≈ cost of PS3 gaming system, 2011] Standard (9/8/18 on): $375 [≈ cost of a suit] friday only Early rate: $250 [≈ cost of PS3 gaming system, 2011] Standard (9/8/18 on): $325

Yılmazcan Mutlu
February 23, 2018

Dear nikitasoni238 , Thank you for sharing your Interactive Global Screen experience. I am doing my research on this subject. I have had the chance to look into the product in detail as much as I can see in the photos. I know they use wide angles as lenses. Do you have any idea about how many mm? Best regards

March 23, 2016

Now I've found two more "D"'s added to STEM: STEM-D for design and disaster (as in education about natural disasters using STEM).

Katie Stofer

December 9, 2014

Update: this morning I picked up my latest issue of GSA Today, from the Geological Society of America. Their "Groundwork" commentary article describes a similar issue in fieldwork versus quantitative data, especially compounded by a bias in funding:

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