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/