Digital Tools for Qualitative Research

Sixteenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

May 20-23, 2020: University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois


Bringing together qualitative researchers to discuss the role of digital tools in the ongoing construction of qualitative research practice.

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In 2008, this group met for the first time during the pre-conference day, Technology in Qualitative Research, comprised of eighteen presenters and sixty-two participants. The group introduced a Digital Tools for Qualitative Research Strand during the 2015 Congress, and in 2016 we became a Special Interest Group (SIG). Detailed mini-programs of Digital Tools for Qualitative Research sessions from recent Congresses are available at:




The Digital Tools track at ICQI 2020

The Digital Tools for Qualitative Research SIG will once again host a special track during the conference. Please note that the emphasis of this SIG is on the intersection of digital tools and qualitative researchers rather than the findings of qualitative studies that address questions of technology use. See prior programs for examples and consider submitting sessions on distance learning, computers in the schools, etc. to other tracks or to the general Congress.

You may submit poster, paper or panel proposals related to the conference theme and/or to one of the following themes:

  • Digital Tools for Qualitative Research:  What are they (old and new; hybrid or repurposed)?  What are the various and intersecting sub-groups of tools that comprise qualitative research technology? How are they being used?  What constitutes good use?  How do we know?
  • Methodological Quandaries:  How are qualitative researchers making sense of the methodological issues raised by the use of digital tools? What methodological tasks are served by the use of new tools?  How do digital tools impact the use of different interpretive frameworks?
  • Ethics and Social Justice:  What ethical issues do these tools raise?  Whom do they help?  Whom do they hurt?  How is justice or injustice occurring through the use of digital tools in qualitative research?
  • The Literature of and Theoretical Perspectives on Digital Tools in Qualitative Research:  How are we theorizing and contextualizing these tools? How do researchers’ affiliation with or critique of these tools shape our communities of practice?
  • Other: A topic of your choice that addresses our focus on the intersection of digital tools and qualitative researchers (or digital tools and qualitative methodologies).

Submitting a poster, paper or panel proposal

Please submit your abstracts to the Digital Tools for Qualitative Research SIG through the conference website:

  • Abstracts must be 150 words or less.
  • Each submission should clearly specify its category: poster, paper or panel.
  • Choose the Digital Tools for Qualitative Research track during the submission process.
  • To assist in the grouping of papers, you might also identify one of the themes described above (Digital Tools for Qualitative Research, Methodological Quandaries, Ethics and Social Justice, The Literature of and Theoretical Perspectives on Digital Tools, and/or the Congress theme – “Qualitative Inquiry in Troubled Times”).
  • Submission Deadline: December 1.
  • Proposals that are not accepted by the SIG will be considered for inclusion in the general Congress.

Additional Activities

The primary responsibilities of the Digital Tools for Qualitative Research SIG are to:

  1. Provide support to the larger Congress and respond to requests (e.g., assist with the development of a hub of resources on Digital Tools).
  2. Help promote the call for papers and recommend Digital Tools paper sessions to ICQI.
  3. Develop opening and closing events for the SIG at the Congress.
  4. Develop award(s) and/or recognition for scholarship/leadership within the Digital Tools community.
  5. Obtain feedback from participants and presenters as part of an annual review of SIG goals and activities.