Open Access Research Methods Journals

oaThis post was inspired by a recent post on the Global Social Change Research Project site, which lists a lot of free resources for social research and evaluation. Having taken the Open Access Pledge, and given my specialism, I was particularly interested in OA journals on research and evaluation methods. So I have compiled all those I could find, through gsocialchange and elsewhere, that focus primarily on methods, are peer reviewed, and publish in English. (Some also publish in other languages, but I only speak and read English – a limitation – so, sadly, I am unable to include non-English journals.) Almost all are exclusively digital.

I was interested to find that many of these journals have quick publication timescales, sometimes only a few weeks from submission to publication. I was also very relieved to find that few ask for financial contributions from authors. When OA came in, I was broadly in favour – I do believe that research funded by public money should be publicly available – but I was worried that article processing charges (APCs) levied on authors would exclude many scholarly writers from publishing their work. I’m delighted to discover that this is not the case (at least, not in my field) and I’m grateful to all the universities and others that sponsor these journals. Also, where APCs are levied by these journals, they are only charged on acceptance for publication, not on submission, and waivers are sometimes available in exceptional circumstances.

As far as I can tell, only one of these journals, the African Evaluation Journal, is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics. Some other journals have their own ethical statements, or follow a specified code of ethics from an institution or association. But most make no mention of ethics, which in the current climate seems a little lax at best.

So here they are, in alphabetical order, with brief details.

African Evaluation Journal

Funded and published by the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA); no APCs.

Publishes high quality peer-reviewed articles of merit on any subject related to evaluation, and provides targeted information of professional interest to members of AfrEA and its national associations and evaluators across the globe. Aims:

  • To build a high quality, useful body of evaluation knowledge for development.
  • To develop a culture of peer-reviewed publication in African evaluation.
  • To stimulate Africa-oriented knowledge networks and collaborative efforts.
  • To strengthen the African voice in evaluation.

Art/Research International

Sponsored by the University of Alberta. No APCs.

A transdisciplinary journal dedicated to exploring and advancing art as research, and/or within the research process, across disciplines and internationally. It offers a space for art/research practitioners: to draw on working examples to discuss challenges, best practices, ethical quandaries, and new directions  for the practice of bringing art and research together; to explore the methodological ambitions and theoretical or philosophical underpinnings and issues of art/research practices; and to provide insights and critiques of art/research projects of other art/research practitioners.

Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines

Published by CADAAD, which seems to be run voluntarily by academics from various universities. No APCs.

Publishes articles which investigate, from a ‘critical’ perspective, contemporary discourse and genres in social, political, public and professional communication.  Especially interested in articles which highlight, develop and apply new theoretical and methodological frameworks for critical discourse research or which assess established methods and assumptions.

Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods

Published by Academic Publishing Limited. APC of £250 (inc. VAT) on acceptance for publication – no submission fee.

Publishes articles and provides perspectives on topics relevant to research in the field of business and management. Aims to contribute to the development of theory and practice.

Forum: Qualitative Social Research

Supported by the Institute for Qualitative Research and the Center for Digital Systems, Freie Universität Berlin. No APCs.

Interested in empirical studies conducted using qualitative methods, and in contributions that deal with the theory, methodology and application of qualitative research. Innovative ways of thinking, writing, researching and presenting are especially welcome. They favour contributions with an inter-disciplinary and/or multinational perspective which was already manifest at the conceptualization stage, for example through co-authorship.

International Journal of Qualitative Methods

Published by Sage on behalf of the International Institute of Qualitative Methodology

APCs of $1,000-$1,750 on acceptance for publication – this funds the journal. Part payment and waivers possible in exceptional circumstances.

Publishes articles that report methodological advances, innovations, and insights in qualitative or mixed-methods studies. Also publishes funded full studies using qualitative or mixed-methods.

Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences

Funded by the University of Arizona Library – no APCs.

An online scholarly publication focusing on methodology and research design, measurement, and data analysis – providing a new venue for unique and interesting contributions in these study areas which frequently overlap.

Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods

Published in partnership by JMASM Inc and Wayne State University Library System. No APCs.

Designed to provide an outlet for the scholarly works of applied nonparametric or parametric statisticians, data analysts, researchers, classical or modern psychometricians, and quantitative or qualitative methodologists/evaluators.

Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation

Published by Western Michigan University. No APCs.

Publishes work that contributes to the development of evaluation theory, methods, and practice.

Journal of Research Practice

Published by AU Press, Athabasca University. Funded by sponsorship. No APCs.

Aims to develop understanding of research as a type of practice, and to assist both research practitioners and research theorists to share their experiences with and ideas about research, so as to extend and enhance that practice in multiple domains.

methods, data, analyses

Published by Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. No APCs.

Publishes research on all questions important to quantitative methods, with a special emphasis on survey methodology. In spite of this focus they welcome contributions on other methodological aspects.

Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation

Funded by sponsorship. No APCs. Despite being a professional researcher and skilled internet sleuth, I was unable to find out who publishes this journal.

Publishes scholarly syntheses of research and ideas about methodological issues and practices, designed to help members of the community keep up-to-date with effective methods, trends, and research developments from a variety of settings.

Qualitative Sociology Review

Published by Lodz University, Poland. No APCs.

Qualitative Sociology Review publishes empirical, theoretical and methodological articles applicable to all fields and specializations within sociology.

Social Research Practice

Funded and published by the UK and Ireland Social Research Association; no APCs.

They welcome articles from anyone working in social research or social policy, whether as a producer or a user of research. Aims: to encourage and promote high standards of social research for public benefit, and to encourage methodological development.

Survey Methods: Insights from the Field

Published jointly by the Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences and Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. No APCs.

Aim: to promote professional exchange on practical survey research issues and discussion on new and promising paths in survey research. Focus is on practical aspects of the daily work of surveying, including questionnaire design, sampling, interviewer training, fieldwork administration, data preparation, documentation and dissemination.

Survey Practice

Published by the American Association for Public Opinion Research. No APCs.

 Aim: to emphasize useful and practical information designed to enhance survey quality by providing a forum to share advances in practical survey methods, current information on conditions affecting survey research, and interesting features about surveys and people who work in survey research.

Survey Research Methods

Published by the European Survey Research Association with the Communication, Information, Media Centre of the University of Konstanz.No APCs.

Topics of particular interest include survey design, sample design, question and questionnaire design, data collection, nonresponse, data capture, data processing, coding and editing, measurement errors, imputation, weighting and survey data analysis methods.

Turkish Online Journal of Qualitative Inquiry

Published by DergiPark. No APCs.

Publishes high quality and original research conducted with qualitative, mixed or action research methodology in educational sciences. Manuscripts required in both English and Turkish.

The Qualitative Report

Published by Nova Southeastern University. No APCs.

Methods may be qualitative, comparative, mixed, collaborative, action-oriented, appreciative, and/or critical in nature. Articles may be qualitative research studies, commentaries about the conduct of qualitative research, prescriptive pieces on carrying out qualitative research, “back stage” essays in which authors give a perspective on how they created and crafted a particular project, presentations on technological innovations relevant to qualitative researchers and their inquiries, and any other issues which would be important for practitioners, teachers, and learners of qualitative research. Scientific, artistic, critical and clinical approaches are all welcome.

And that’s the lot! If anyone knows of another OA methods journal I’ve missed, please leave a comment, with a link to the journal, and I’ll update the post.

4 thoughts on “Open Access Research Methods Journals

  1. Pingback: Open Access Research Methods Journals – Graduate Researcher. space

  2. Hi,

    Did some digging on Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation. The domain is registered by Dr Lawrence Rudner (webpage here:, who worked at ERIC Clearinghouse in Assessment and Evaluation and University of Maryland when this journal first started. Also worked for GMAC (sponsor of the journal) Currently is an independent assessment consultant. No publishing organisation, website is registered at his home address by the looks of it. Seems a legitimate journal though, some cool stuff in there,

    Liked by 1 person

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