Streamlining how we describe research outputs

Information for societies and editors

The classification of articles into categories such as “Original Research” or “Editorial” makes an important contribution to the generation of article metadata. As well as helping readers understand the type of content an article contains, the value also informs business rules controlling access on Taylor & Francis Online, author license agreements, availability of Open Access, APC pricing, submission fees, typesetting templates and content presentation and curation.

Different journals describe content in different ways, many of which are very similar (for example “Original Paper” and “Original Research Paper”). As a consequence, there are more than 1400 different article type headings in use in Taylor & Francis journals.

Read on to learn more about Taylor & Francis revised article type vocabulary.

Why the revision and what are the benefits?

To improve the classification of content for customers and readers we have reviewed the number of categories used to describe content (‘article types’) we have drawn up a list of 45 article types that we believe can be used to describe most of the content published in our journals. Our preference is for journals to use this “controlled vocabulary” to describe content categories but classifications outside the list are supported if they map to a value in the vocabulary, for example the category “Perspective” maps to “Comment”.

Greater clarity of content classification will improve the experience of our readers and customers, as well as simplifying processes for editors, reviewers and authors. Some of the benefits include:

  • Facilitating discoverability of content – using industry standard terms to describe the research output (its metadata) makes it easier for third parties to index it and for users to find

  • Ensuring that a research output is classified correctly from submission to publication and beyond – reducing errors in process and understanding

  • Making it easier for readers to understand what type of research output they are reading

  • Making it easier for authors to submit (and resubmit) their work and to comply with funder or institutional policies

  • Ensuring accurate pricing for services such as open access

  • More accurate display of content on third party sites (it will also be less likely for third parties such as PubMedCentral (PMC) to delay cataloguing of content)

Revised article type categories

The revised vocabulary deprecates nine categories (Books Received, Clinical Study, In Brief, Letter, Review, Study Characteristics, Systematic Review, Technical Report and Terminology) and adds three new categories (Media Review, Method and Research Letter). It also includes information on whether an article type is eligible for Open Access under a Transitional Agreement (research articles, RA) or not (specialist and professional articles, S&P).

The addition of “Media Review” is part of an effort to clean up the current article type taxonomy to disambiguate four review categories in the current vocabulary: Review, Review Article, Product Review and Book Review. In the new model there will be Review Article (RA), Product Review, Book Review and Media Review (all S&P).

Similarly, the type “Research Letter” (RA) replaces the generic “Letter” to differentiate it from routine correspondence published under the “Letter to the Editor” category (S&P). The other new category, “Method”, is designed to support our ambitions in Open Science, where the publication of standalone methods and protocols papers is encouraged.

Article type




The article is one or more abstracts (of a paper or presentation) that have usually been presented or published separately. If published as a series the title will normally include “Abstracts” and each abstract will have its own title and authors.



A published work that adds additional information or clarification to another work (The similar value Correction corrects an error in previously published material.) Title may include “Addendum” with the related article that is the subject of the addendum is mentioned.



Material announced in the publication (may or may not be directly related to the publication). A common example is a Call for Papers


Article Commentary

A work whose subject or focus is another article or articles; this article comments on the other article(s).


Back matter

Describes non-peer-reviewed content normally published at the end of an issue, for example a list of contributors or list of reviewers.



A work consisting of a list of books, articles, documents, publications, and other items, usually on a single subject or related subjects.


Book Review

Review or analysis of one or more printed or online books. (The similar value Product Review is used for product analyses.


Brief Report

A short and/or rapid announcement of research results.



A list of events.


Case Report

Case study, case report, case series, or other description of a case or cases.



Wrapper classification for a compilation of sub-articles, for example a magazine-type publication (internal use only).



An opinion piece or subjective contribution by one or more experts on a topic or publication.



A modification or correction of previously published material; this is sometimes called “errata”


Data Note

A brief description of a data set to promote reuse. Must include a data availability statement and at least one data citation. Should not include analyses or conclusions.



Invited discussion related to a specific article or issue.



Thesis or dissertation written as part of the completion of a degree of study.



Opinion piece, policy statement, or general commentary, typically written by editorial officers of the journal or a guest contributor. (The similar value Article Commentary is reserved for a commentary on a specific article or articles, which is written by an author with a contrasting position, not an editor or other publication staff.)



Works consisting of collections of papers or interpretive literary compositions not previously published.



Public displays or items representative of a given subject.


Expression of Concern

An expression of concern is used to raise awareness about a possible problem in a published article.


Fictional Work

Works consisting of creative writing, not presented as factual.


Front Matter

Describes non-peer-reviewed content normally published at the front of an issue; for example, an editorial board.



Work consisting of a conversation with an individual regarding his or her background and other personal and professional details, opinions on specific subjects posed by the interviewer, and so on



An introduction to a publication, or to a series of articles within a publication, typically for a special section or issue.


Legal Case

Works consisting of collections of law reports or the published reports of decided cases as well as documents or filings related to those cases.


Letter to the Editor

Miscellaneous correspondence to the journal’s editorial office that is not specifically a comment on, or a response to, a published article (see Research Letter below).


Meeting Report

Report of a conference, symposium, or meeting.


Media Review

Review of a cultural production such as a film, play or broadcast but not a book (see the value Book Review above).



Description of a method or protocol to be used in the design and execution of an experiment or study.


Multimedia Article

A work that consists primarily of video, audio, or other visual or interactive media; for example, a podcast. The work may also include text such as an abstract or transcript.



Works consisting of an announcement or statement of recent or current events of new data and matters of interest in the field of medicine or science.



Encompasses a range of short contributions narrowly focused on a specific research subject or aspect of professional practice.



Announcement of a death, or the appreciation for a colleague who has recently died.



Reprint of a speech or oral presentation.


Pictorial Work

Work consisting exclusively or mainly of pictures but not technical drawings.


Plain Language Summary

A Plain Language Summary article, also called a Plain Language Summary of Publication (PLSP), is a standalone short-form article which summarises published research in jargon-free and clear language and can include graphics, to illustrate key points. This article type is similar to a Plain Language Summary abstract that may be included in a research article as an additional, secondary abstract as a text paragraph or graphical image below the abstract.



Works that consist of literary and oral genre expressing meaning via symbolism and following formal or informal patterns.


Product Review

Description, analysis, or review of a product or service, for example, a software package (See similar values Book Review and Media Review).


Rapid Communication

Fast-breaking research update or other news item.


Registered Report

Registered Reports are a form of article in which the methods and proposed analyses are published and peer-reviewed prior to research being conducted.



Reply to a letter or commentary, typically by the original author commenting upon the comments.



A scientific communication reporting observations derived from professional practice. (A similar and related article type is Case Report.


Research Article

Article reporting on primary research. Will normally contain an abstract and references. May also contain figures, tables, footnotes. (The related value Review Article describes a literature review, research synthesis, or state-of-the-art article.)


Research Letter

Short scholarly communication which may be original research or a comment in relation to a published work. In this case the letter may be accompanied by a Reply or response from the original authors.



Retraction or disavowal of previously published material


Review Article

Review or state-of-the-art summary article (The related value Research Article describes original research.)


Target Article

An article intended to provoke discussion, normally accompanied by one or more commentaries discussing the article.



The article does not fit in any of the above categories and should not have an article type displayed. This category is for internal use only and should only be used in rare circumstances.


* RA, Research Article (formerly Core), eligible for Open Access conversion in a Transitional Agreement; S&P, Specialist and Professional Article (formerly Non-core), not eligible for Open Access conversion.