Qualitative Original Articles - Specific Guidelines

Structure and recommendations for articles with a qualitative approach

Do not include any identifying information about the author(s) in the manuscript. Do not include acknowledgments until the article is accepted.

- Title in Portuguese and English

It should be a concise description of the nature and topic of the study and may identify the approach used (e.g. ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, historiography, etc.).

- Abstract  

Summarizes the key elements of the study in a structured manner: Introduction, Objective(s), Method, Results, Conclusion. With a maximum limit of 300 words.

The abstract should provide the context or basis for the study and should state the purpose of the study, basic methodological procedures, main results, and main conclusions. Abstracts should not include bibliographical references or quotes from participants/documents.

- Keywords 

A minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6, mostly validated in browsers of Mesh and DeCs indexing terms.

- Introduction

It should provide the description of the phenomenon/problem under study, review the relevant theory and empirical work. Give preference to the use of primary sources from the last 5 years. The problem under study must be clearly defined and show a heuristic questioning attitude, when applicable. It should include the research objective or research question/hypothesis in narrative form. Only key references should be cited and no data or conclusions from the reported work should be included.

 - Method

The guiding principle of the Method section should be to provide clarity about how and why a study was conducted in a particular way, in such a way as to allow it to be reproduced. 

 Research paradigm

Authors should indicate the selected qualitative approach (e.g., phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory, historical research, narrative research, etc.) and the guiding theory, if applicable. The research paradigm should be identified (e.g., post-positivism, constructivism, etc.).


Researchers can influence the research. Qualifications/experience, relationships with participants, or any important assumption in the phenomenon being studied should be reported. Current or potential relationship between the researchers and the research question, approach, methods, results, and/or transferability should also be clarified. 


Describe the contextual factors evident in the study.

Sample / Participants

How participants, documents or events were selected. Indicate the sample size criteria, if applicable.

Identify the sampling strategy that was used; inclusion and exclusion criteria; how participants were recruited; the sample/population size. Authors should use neutral, accurate, and respectful language to describe study participants and avoid using terminology that could stigmatize participants. Authors should indicate the number and relevant characteristics of the participants, documents, and events included in the studies.

 Data collection

Type of data collected. Present the details of data collection procedures, including (if appropriate) start and end times of data collection/analysis, iteration processes, triangulation of resources/methods, and changes made to procedures in response to partial results.

Describe the instruments (e.g., interview guide, questionnaires, etc.), application method (e.g. face-to-face, online, etc.) and devices (e.g. audio/video) used for data collection. Indicate if there were any changes over the research period.

 Data processing and analysis

State the data processing and analysis methods, including transcription, data entry, data and security management, data verification and integrity, coding, and anonymization. Indicate the software used, if appropriate. Describe the processes by which inferences, or themes were identified.  


Indicate the techniques used to achieve data analysis reliability and credibility (e.g. triangulation), if appropriate.

 Ethical and legal considerations

Identify any specific ethical issues associated with the research and explicitly state in the text that approval has been given by an ethics committee. If formal ethical scrutiny is not required to conduct the study, it should be stated that it is not applicable.

 - Results

Present the characteristics of the sample. Present the results (e.g. interpretations, inference, and topics). It may include a previous theory, model, or research. Include empirical notes in this field to support the data analysis (e.g. quotes from participants, field notes, photographs, etc.), if applicable.

Present the results in a logical sequence in the text, including tables and figures if applicable. Each figure/table must be referenced in the text. Tables/figures must be understandable, i.e. all abbreviations must be explained.

Use subheadings as appropriate.

Extra or supplementary materials and technical details should be placed on an open science platform such as OSF, to be made available to readers through a hyperlink. 

 - Discussion

The discussion should be begun by briefly summarizing the main findings and exploring possible interpretations for these findings. The discussion should be made with reference to the conceptual or theoretical framework and existing literature/studies, emphasizing the depth of the analysis in relation to the results obtained (where applicable).

New and important aspects of the study should be emphasized and analyzed in relation to previous research. 

- Conclusion 

Provide conclusions in response to the study objectives, not just a summary/repeat of the results. 

State the limitations of the study.

Identify implications/recommendations for practice / research / education / management as appropriate, and in accordance with limitations. 


Submission: The article should be submitted together with the checklist for qualitative article proposals, available for consultation in the file Original qualitative article checklist.