Guideline for Qualitative Studies

Updated 20 August 2019

Articles submitted to the Belitung Nursing Journal should not exceed 7000 words for the main text, including abstract, tables and references.


Write a structured abstract, including 5 headings: Background, Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusion.

Abstract is not more than 350 words and add key words (3-5 words). Wording should be concise and present only the essential elements. 'Telegraphic' statements without verbs are acceptable. Abbreviations are not allowed.


Main text

This is your main content with no authors' detail. All illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end of the manuscript.


  • Clearly identify the research problem, rationale, context, international relevance of topic
  • Provide the gap to show the significant of your study
  • Aim(s): State the aims of the study as a narrative study purpose or as research questions or hypotheses to be tested at the end of introduction. For example, ‘The aim of the study was to…’



Methods should be structured:

Study design

Identify the specific research design used, for example grounded theory, phenomenology, and ethnography.



  • Identify the inclusion and exclusion criteria. For example, ‘The inclusion criteria were…’, ‘The exclusion criteria were…’.
  • Explain how participants were recruited. Provide justification for participant numbers that addresses data saturation or another criterion. 


Data collection

  • Describe when and where the data were collected.
  • Use subheadings for different types of data collection techniques if appropriate, e.g., interview guides. For example, ‘Data were collected using an interview guide…’, ‘Focus groups were conducted …’.
  • Describe each technique used to collect the data, such as interview guide questions.


Data analysis

  • Describe the techniques used to analyse the data, including computer software used, if appropriate. For example, ‘The data were analysed using NVivo Version X. The data were analysed using thematic analysis…’.
  • Supply supporting reference for specific analytic approaches/ techniques.


  • Provide types of and estimates for trustworthiness of qualitative data, including types of dependability and credibility used.


Ethical consideration

  • Identify any particular ethical issues that were attached to this research. Provide a statement of ethics committee approval. Do not name the university or other institution from which ethics committee approval was obtained; state only that ethics committee approval was obtained from a university and/or whatever other organisation is relevant.
  • Explain any other approvals obtained, for example, local site arrangements to meet research governance requirements. If, according to local regulations, no formal ethical scrutiny was required or undertaken, please state this.
  • The complete name of the institution and approval number should be stated in the title page.



  • Start with a description of actual sample. For example: ‘The study participants ranged in age from X to Y years…’.
  • Present results explicitly for each study aim or research question.
  • Use subheadings as appropriate.
  • Provide a brief summary of the findings. This should include the themes, stages or patterns (as appropriate). Explain how each theme emerged and what each consists of (with relevant quotes from participants). Explain how the themes interrelate to produce a conceptual or theoretical understanding of the phenomenon you studied.
  • If your sample consisted of different groups (e.g. patients and nurses or nurses of different grades and position), the findings should reflect each of the groups.
  • When two or more methods (e.g. interviews and observations) are used in the same study, you should ensure that findings of both methods are reported adequately.
  • Use the literature in the findings section only if it informs or extends your analysis, not that it merely confirms what you found. This can be done in the discussion section.



  • In some instances authors may prefer to present the results and discussions sections as a single, combined section. Whether separate or combined, the Discussion section should consider findings in relation to the literature. Do previous research findings match or differ from yours? Do not use literature which only supports your findings.
  • Draw conclusions about what new knowledge has emerged from the study. For example, this new knowledge could contribute to new conceptualisations or question existing ones; it could lead to the development of tentative/substantive theories (or even hypotheses), it could advance/question existing theories or provide methodological insights, or it could provide data that could lead to improvements in practice.
  • End with study limitations including but not confined to sampling considerations, trustworthiness and transferability of the findings.
  • Identify implications/recommendations for practice/research/education/management as appropriate, and consistent with the limitations.



  • Provide real conclusions, not just a summary/repetition of the findings.



Use APA (American Psychological Association) 6th Edition with doi number format for citation and references.