The Virtual Conference for Qualitative Inquiry (VCQI) is a free virtual conference for qualitative researchers. It’s intended to offer an alternative to in-person conferences that can be expensive, non-inclusive, and harmful to the environment. Because it’s asynchronous, attendees can choose to attend as many presentations as they find interesting. No presentation gets stuck in a bad time slot or has to go up against other sessions, so no set of presentations gets unfairly privileged over any others. VCQI is committed to the principle of minimal exclusivity and seeks to foster the sharing of knowledge to help make a better world.

VCQI is designed to be self-organizing and self-governing. It has no director, nor does it have other positions that reproduce hierarchical relations of power. Further, there is no treasury. Being a free conference, it collects no submission fees. It seeks only to create partnerships, and it accepts no paid sponsorships. No one owns this conference, for it belongs, rather, to the community of people who’d like to participate.


The submissions process is designed so that submitters have complete control over their content (more on that below). Further, submissions are of completed text, video, or audio content only, not proposals. This ensures that the review process will remain fair with regard to the already carefully prepared presentations.

Submitters of text-only content are asked to upload their conference paper of 2,000 to 3,000 words on the personal ResearchGate profile of the first author as a preprint. Submitters will provide a link to that content at the time of submission. Submissions of text-only panels consisting of multiple papers of 2,000 to 3,000 words each are to be uploaded as individual papers on the personal ResearchGate profile of the first author as a preprint. Indication that a particular paper is part of a panel can be indicated on ResearchGate itself. Uploaded content mustn’t be in violation of ResearchGate’s terms of service. To ensure good citational practices regarding one’s unpublished work, DOIs may be generated on ResearchGate.

Submitters of video or audio-only presentations are asked to record a presentation prepared for the purpose of presenting at the VCQI conference and to post it on their own YouTube channel before the submission closing dates of the conference. Content mustn’t be in violation of YouTube’s terms of service. To make the submissions accessible, at the time of posting, submitters are responsible for providing accurate closed captioning. If the presentation is in a language other than English, the video should provide English subtitles or a link to an English transcription.

Submissions are made through a Google Form linked to on the Submissions page. There are no submission or registration costs. To partake in VCQI is absolutely free. In order to submit, submitters are only asked to review two presentations in the area to which they make their submission.

On the submission form, submitters are asked to provide a URL to their content. This content will be reviewed by two subsequent submitters. There’s a limit of one submission per submitter per content area, so submitters cannot review their own submissions. The first two and last two submitters to a particular content area will receive reviews from separate members of the VCQI review committee.

Submitters retain the ability to control how their content is consumed. For instance, submitters may choose to enable or disable commenting, make the content public or unlisted, provide a link to the related paper in a repository, delete their postings if they so choose, etc. The conference only asks that accepted submissions be left up for the duration of the conference for which the submission is accepted.

VCQI makes no claims to ownership of submitted content, accepted or otherwise. VCQI simply posts links to the content accepted in a conference program and publishes abstracts in proceedings should the submitter have opted in at the time of submission. At most, submitters will be invited for publication opportunities in non-predatory, peer reviewed publications. VCQI seeks to be a space where participants can promote the good work that they do.

Review Process:

Each submission will be made available to at least two reviewers who submit to the same content area for review. These two reviewers will make one of three recommendations: 1. Accept, 2. Resubmit, or 3. Reject. Reviewers should note that video or audio presentations without accurate closed captioning cannot receive a decision of Accept. Reviewers will be asked to provide anonymous comments, a requirement if the decision is either Resubmit or Reject. Once these reviews are collected, acceptance to the final program of the conference will be decided as follows:

Two votes of Accept: Accepted for the conference.

Two votes of Resubmit: Invited to resubmit for the next conference.

Two votes of Reject: Rejected for the conference.

In the case of non-matching votes, decisions will be made by the VCQI review committee.

Acceptance emails will be sent to the submitters after a final abstract review from the VCQI review committee, a review meant to ensure that no content includes: 1. deliberate misinformation or unethically conducted research, 2. anything that can be deemed as “hate speech” broadly defined, or 3. any content that is in violation of YouTube’s terms of service or ResearchGate’s terms of service. Content containing anything from those three categories will be rejected. Further, the VCQI review committee will review the reviews themselves so that no inappropriate content or trolling reviews will be passed on to submitters.

The Conference:

The conference program listing the links to all accepted submissions will be made available to the submitters prior to the conference. A program with accepted submissions (presentation title, authors, affiliations) without the links will be posted online. For those who’ve opted in for inclusion, VCQI will make available proceedings containing the abstracts of accepted presentations. Emails will not be published anywhere, and no links will be published publicly.

VCQI reserves the right to remove from the conference program or proceedings any content found to contain: 1. deliberate misinformation or unethically conducted research, 2. anything that can be deemed as “hate speech” broadly defined, or 3. any content that is in violation of YouTube’s terms of service or ResearchGate’s terms of service. If content is reported to be inaccessible, the submitters will be contacted and asked to make the content accessible. Failure to comply by the given deadline will result in removal from the program and/or proceedings.

Publication Opportunities:

VCQI seeks to establish and maintain relationships with publishers and editors of peer reviewed, non-predatory publication venues. These relationships are partnerships. VCQI will accept no paid sponsorships. This ensures that the partnerships serve our community. Our partnerships are designed to open up publication opportunities for the VCQI participants. For instance, prior to the conference itself, partnered journal editors will have exclusive first-look access to preliminary versions of the conference program. Partnered editors may then look for papers or panels that they could possibly invite for article submissions or special issues. Publisher partners are encouraged to look through conference content in order to find authors with whom they may cultivate relationships.

At bottom, not ever wanting to prematurely punctuate any good discourse, VCQI seeks to be a venue where scholarly conversations might begin and continue throughout our social networks, both virtual and beyond.