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bibliometrics, nursing, periodicals as topic, publishing, qualitative research, trends



  1. Gagliardi, Anna R.
  2. Umoquit, Muriah
  3. Webster, Fiona
  4. Dobrow, Mark


Background: Journal publication is the traditional means of disseminating research. Few top-ranked general medical and health services and policy research journals publish qualitative research.


Objectives: This study examined qualitative research publication rates in top-ranked nursing journals with varying characteristics (general vs. specialty focus, number of issues per year) and compared publication rates with those previously reported for journals in related fields.


Methods: A bibliometric approach was used to identify and quantify qualitative articles published in 10 top-ranked nursing journals from 2002 to 2011.


Results: The percentage of qualitative empirical studies varied within and across nursing journals with no apparent association with journal characteristics. Although variable, qualitative research appears more common in high-ranking nursing journals than in general medical and health services and policy research journals.


Discussion: Examining factors that contribute to inconsistent rates may identify strategies to optimize qualitative research reporting and publication.