Intended for healthcare professionals


An open letter to The BMJ editors on qualitative research

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 10 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i563

Re: An open letter to The BMJ editors on qualitative research

The open letter by Trisha Greenhalgh et al. caught my eye this week. I find it fascinating that this debate still exists within medical journals, whilst other disciplines speed on ahead with wider ways of discovery. I also felt that the response from the BMJ was rather poor, with the justification to not take on Greenhalgh’s challenge, due to their aim of only publishing definitive, generalisable research, and not exploratory ones.

Well, I classify myself as a young researcher, hoping not to grow marred and cynical about what I do. I believe that we should be encouraging the search for knowledge and answers through any means thought best, and perhaps this is ever evolving. There is no binary in my mind, whether a good paper is qualitative or quantitative, I trust that what it seeks is at its core, and is that not the beauty that we search?

I support this letter, and agree that the BMJ should widen its scope of research published, listening to not just the number of readers responding, but the words that they write.

Competing interests: No competing interests

27 February 2016
Amy Alice Carson
Academic Foundation Doctor