Donna Mertens is one of the two new editors of the Journal of Mixed Methods Research and her presentation on Friday afternoon was quite apart from the others I had attended in the sense it had a very direct and practical application as is suggested by the title of the session ‘Publishing in the Journal of Mixed Methods’
The session was split equally in half, beginning with a succinct explanation of what the journal and its editors look for when selecting and accepting papers for reviews and publication. Donna’s address outlined that the interdisciplinary journal is keen for work from both new researchers and those that do not have English as a second language, and otherwise. The journal also welcomes conceptual papers focusing on philosophy and paradigms as well as empirical papers, which although are practical articles have a less typical focus on results- rather how the work guides and illustrates mixed methods, and in this way moves understanding forward. It was also noted of importance for empirical papers to bring a theoretical lens to their work, particularly on informing use of mixed methods research with the hope that critical reflection in this way would also move thinking of mixed methods research forward. Delegates were directed to the SAGE website for detailed description of the process whilst the presentation served to give a more generic overview.
In the second half of the session the audience utilised the opportunity to have more specific queries answered. These included practical issues around time scale, circa four months from time of receipt of manuscript to peer review process however if the editors do not consider the article appropriate in its current form then the primary investigator is informed of this and ways to improve it within a month. Publication is generally achieved within six months of sending out the letter of acceptance. Another question from the floor was the journals policy on publishing a study of which the results had been previously published. A clear response was that the nature of the methodology journal meant that it was not uncommon for this to occur, so long as the content was ‘substantially’ different from anything published elsewhere. As is convention, plagiarising even one’s own work is an academic crime. As a new (non-published) researcher this session was invaluable to me.