Qualitative Research e-mail lists mentioned in Richards (2009)

In his appendix of online resources, Richards (2009) presents a selection of e-mail lists (p 171). What follows is a summary of my experience trying to subscribe to the lists. Generally speaking some of the lists mentioned in Richards (2009) no longer exist and others have moved to new online locations or undergone changes in the procedures for sign up. It is also worth considering that what Bob Dick has to say about the Qual-L list as true of all these lists: ‘Qual-L usually carries a very low volume of traffic. Like most mailing lists it has occasional flurries of higher activity and occasional dead patches. For some while now the dead patches have predominated. There may be several months where there is no mail at all. It’s a small list: about 200 subscribers, more or less. But if you have queries about qualitative research, there are some talented subscribers.’ (Dick, B, personal communication, 2 February, 2013)

The ‘Biographical Methods’ and ‘Ethnography in Education’ e-mail lists have moved to a new home hosted by JISCMail.

JISCMail is otherwise known as The [UK] National Academic Mailing List Service and is managed and funded by JISC Advance (See: http://www.jiscadvance.ac.uk).

Practically speaking there are a few ways to get signed up to these lists but perhaps the most foolproof and manageable way is to:

a. Sign up for a LISTSERV password here: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?GETPW1=SUBED1%3DBIOG-METHODS&X=&Y=

b. Click to confirm your subscription in the confirmation email sent to you by JISCM@il

c. Login with your email and password to subscribe to ‘Biographical Methods’ over here: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?LOGON=SUBED1=BIOG-METHODS [2] [3]

d. While on this same page you can select ETHNOGRAPHY-IN-EDUCATION from the drop-down list. [4]

‘Ethnomethodology/conversation analysis’ and ‘Designed for methods tutors’ at CIOS (Communication Institute for Online Scholarship) still exist.

They still exist [5] but there are some caveats and the subscription method is a little different to that described by Richards (2009).

Here are the caveats:

a. The list system does not allow signup via the CIOS website.

b. The list serve system only accepts signup request emails formatted in Plain Text. Many email applications send emails formatted in HTML by default. So you need to know how to set the format of your email to Plain Text before sending. Here is an article on sending messages in Plain Text using gmail webmail (at present Macquarie University student email accounts are hosted on gmail): http://email.about.com/od/gmailtips/qt/How-To-Send-A-Message-In-Plain-Text-From-Gmail.htm

c. Unless you are a paid member (individual or institutional) of CIOS you can only sign up to one list at a time. When I tried to sign up for both I got an email from CIOS stating that “you are not a member of the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship (CIOS) and you are not using Comserve from an institution that is a CIOS institutional affiliate”. Presumably this means Macquarie University is not an institutional member of CIOS.

Here is how to sign up:

a. Ethnomethodology/conversation analysis


Subject: subscribe [6]

Body: Subscribe ethno John Citizen [7]

b. Designed for methods tutors


Subject: subscribe

Body: Subscribe methods John Citizen

The QSR-Forum email list has been replaced by web based QSR Forum.

Sign up here: http://forums.qsrinternational.com/index.php?app=core&module=global&section=register

Be aware that after signing up you may login but your ability to post questions or even edit your profile is restricted until QSR staff review and approve your subscription.

QUAL-L at Southern Cross University has a new signup procedure.
The procedure is not the same as detailed in Richards (2009) and it is difficult to say what the new procedure is as there appears to be no current information on this list anywhere on the internet.It is unclear whether this list is still active. There exists a web based signup form here: http://lists.scu.edu.au/mailman/listinfo/qual-l

QUALRS-L at the University of Georgia now have a new signup procedure.
The instructions on the appropriate page at UGA have not been updated since 2009 [8]. That said, the following email commands do work:


Subject: subscribe

Body: subscribe QUALRS-L Joe Citizen

It is also possible to read the UGA QUALRS-L list on the web after signing up for a free username and password: http://listserv.uga.edu/archives/qualrs-l.html


Richards, Keith. (2009). Trends in Qualitative Research in Language Teaching since 2000. Language Teaching, 42(2), 147-180.


2. Consider the benefits of a Digest rather than Regular subscription. The later will of course send you a message every time a contribution is made!

3. It is worth reading the email titled ‘You are now subscribed to the BIOG-METHODS list’ that you receive by return as it contains instructions on how to use the list including how to contribute to the list rather than simply read it.

4. It’s a long drop-down list, so you might want to type ‘E-T-H’ quickly to get closer to this list option.

5. General information about these lists which CIOS call ‘hotlines’ can be found here: http://www.cios.org/www/forums.htm

6. You don’t need to fill in the subject field in your email but if you don’t your email program might warn you there is no subject (annoying).

7. Replace the name John Citizen with your name.

8. See: http://www.coe.uga.edu/leap/academic-programs/qualitative-research/qualitative-research-resources/email-discussion-groups/

Speech Generation

Perhaps not original, but just thought up a mongrel-acronym for how to remember the three physical stages of speech production (Respiration, Phonotation, Articulation). Here it is:

(Pronounced “re-fart”)


Reading academic e-books for free with SpringerLink

I am happy to be able to read International Handbook of English Language Teaching , Cummins, Jim; Davison, Chris , 2007 online for free over at SpringerLink. Simply visit: http://www.springerlink.com/content/978-0-387-46301-8#section=354408&page=1&locus=0

Even greater joy is mine to discover that Macquarie University library (MQl) currently subscribe to this…err…I guess we call it ‘database’. With a institutional subscription, naturally, you don’t need to pay in order to download content offline as PDF. MQl offer access to said e-books via the Springer ebook collection and (maybe also) the SpringerLink contemporary (1997 – present)


The Macquarie University e-Reserve offers me a scan of this article:

Adamson, Bob; Davison, Chris. “Innovation in English language teaching in Hong Kong primary schools: one step forward, two steps sideways?” Prospect: The Journal of the Adult Migrant Education Program , 18:1 , 2003 , 27-41

I am grateful, naturally, for the efforts of the Reserve Library team (thanks Chris!) but I prefer the same article free to the world here for Pure Digital Reading.

I found the Pure Digital article linked to above by googling – it seems the journal Prospect is a publication of Macquarie University (MQ) itself and that MQ publishes this free to the world! So looking outside brings me back home on this research sortie.

Pure Digital Reading

Family friend, writer and film director Mojgan Khadem once told me “writing is all about managing your ideas”. And even though I don’t need to write a thesis during my “coursework” Master in Applied Linguistics with Macquarie University (MQ), I am convinced my ability to manage my ideas and learn the discursive formations of Applied Linguistics will be greatly enhanced if I can practice Pure Digital Reading.

Pure Digital Reading? I am, hopefully, coining this phrase. I mean:

  • Reading only digital material that is keyword searchable. Whose words can re-flow and re-size happily on every black mirror (iPhone, iPad, Kindle and Laptop) in my possession. A standard of content not offered (unfortunately) by the MQ e-Reserve. There students like myself receive (not ungratefully) ‘scans’ of articles prepared by the hardworking Library Reserve team. Scans that are for the practitioner of Pure Digital Reading just raw materials that must be further processed with OCR software and hard work. Of course, sometimes it is worth looking outside your own institution for that journal article.
  • Tagging keyword searchable materials with the same purpose in mind as the act of underlining words, phrases or passages from paper books.
  • Annotating content. Not just with comments or notes, but with images, videos, audio notes, hand drawn diagrams, URLS etc. New tools can handle this! iAnnotate PDF reader is my current weapon of choice on the iPad.

And all this in my opinion is far from new-fangled. Infact, the need for Pure Digital Reading is a direct result of the accumulating human record predicament so clearly described by Dr. Vannevar Bush in As We May Think back in 1945. The specialist in any given area of human knowledge – the Master student, the PhD candidate, the Professor – naturally amass and organise their learning. And they used to do this by creating their own private libraries accompanied by index cards full of notes/references and clouds of post-it-notes or white(black)board jottings. But now, I can access my library digitally. Without even leaping out of my chair to pull down a paper book, without flinging open a drawer and flicking past reference cards I can sift and share my thoughts and notes.