Controversies in Qualitative Research: Kirsten Bell on profit and pricing in academia

19 Jun 2024

In July 2023, all of the 44 editors of acclaimed Critical Public Health journal simultaneously resigned, citing concerns about Taylor and Francis' pricing system. They went on to found a new independent journal, the Journal of Critical Public Health. We speak to an editorial board member who resigned, Kirsten Bell. Kirsten sheds light on the intricate dynamics between profit, pricing, and the neoliberal influence on qualitative health research. We discuss the implications of these economic forces on research agendas, outcomes, and the broader knowledge production landscape. We explore the consequences this might have for communicating qualitative health research findings in an understandable and transparent way, as well as ensuring that a diverse range of people can publish their work.

Kirsten Bell is a social anthropologist and is currently Senior Research Fellow in Anthropology in the Patient Experience Research Centre at Imperial College. Her primary research focuses on the anthropology of public health, but she also has a strong interest in scholarly publishing. A former co-editor of Critical Public Health and a current production editor of its successor the Journal of Critical Public Health, Kirsten holds a Master of Publishing from Simon Fraser University in addition to her credentials in anthropology. You can read more about her work on

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