Ihre Browserversion ist veraltet. Wir empfehlen, Ihren Browser auf die neueste Version zu aktualisieren.

Twice in the spotlight

Posted 25/8/2016

In my last blog entry, I provided a list of the top QCA journals in terms of the number of published articles that employ QCA for applied research or deal with methodological aspects. 

While some journals have dropped out of the updated list provided below (the criterion for being included is now at least 5 published articles), whereas other have joined, there is one particular development in the QCA literature that stands out from among all others: the boost of the Journal of Business Research (JBR) from last year's top performer with a moderately large margin over the publication figures of other leading journals to the top performer with a publication figure that has become a whopping six times as high as that of the second-ranking journal Sociological Methods & Research. At first glance, this seems to be good news for QCA: more diffusion, more attention, higher acceptance. Or is it not quite so?

Browsing through the QCA articles in JBR, three things are noticeable: first, QCA is usually used as some kind of robustness-checking technique after some regression method has been employed; second, the quality of QCA applications is extremely low; and third, the editor of JBR, himself a proponent of QCA, is prominently cited. One thus simply cannot escape the impression that the journal is on some kind of mission to promote QCA across the discipline of business research, at all costs, and for the personal benefit of the editor, at that. It then also comes at no surprise that a recent article published in Science also lists JBR as a top performer, but this time not in terms of QCA publications, but in relation to the scientific malpractice of coercive citation.

As a methodologist who has written and published widely on QCA over the last five years, and who has tried to increase the acceptance of this fascinating method among the scientific community in general, I regret that JBR seems to have decided to take this dubious route to pushing the visibility of QCA. I believe that it will do much more harm to the method than good.