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New Scholar: Qualitative vs Quantitative

Resources and strategies to support undergraduate and graduate students as they establish themselves as accomplished scholars by presenting and publishing.

Qualitative vs Quantitative Research

Quantitative Research is used to quantify the problem by way of generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into useable statistics. It is used to quantify attitudes, opinions, behaviors, and other defined variables – and generalize results from a larger sample population.

Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research.  It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. This data is usually gathered using conversational methods such as interviews or focus groups.

Some journals and even some disciplines may have a preference as to what type of empirical research they wish to publish.  Some authors who have written an article that is primarily qualitative in nature, may seek out journals that are "qualitative research friendly." We have listed a few such journals below. 

Types of Empirical Research

List of Journals Friendly to Qualitative Work

You can also look through the last few issues of a journal to see if the articles they publish tend to be more qualitative or quantitative in nature.