Streamlining how we describe research outputs - Editor Resources

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Streamlining how we describe research outputs

- Information for societies and editors

Different journals describe content in different ways, many of which are very similar (e.g. Original paper’ and ‘Original research paper’). This has evolved into a situation where we have over 2,500 different content types (and that’s within Taylor & Francis journals alone). In the digital age, with users increasingly accessing content online, this variation is impractical and can impede the publication, dissemination, and use of research outputs.

What are you proposing and what are the benefits?

We would like to streamline the number of ways we can describe content (in shorthand ‘article types’), and where possible to use descriptions that align with industry standards. Through a thorough review process, we have drawn up a list of around 50 ‘article types’ that we believe can be used to describe most of the content published in our journals. Over time, we would like journals to start using these article types to describe their content.

This 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 it
  • 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)

What are the implications for me and my journal?

We want to phase this in gradually over time and to minimize disruption to journals, editors, and societies. Over time, article types such as ‘original research article’ or ‘research paper’ will move to the description ‘research article’ – in most cases these changes should be minor and should not pose any changes to the way that you interact with these types of content. You may initially only see a change in how your journal’s content is presented on our website, though we hope that over time journals will use these descriptions from submission all the way through to publication.

My journal has a specific descriptor for a piece of content (or article type) which I would like to preserve

Where possible, we would like journals to use one of our main article types, for the reasons outlined above. We don’t think that this will dilute the value of any journals to prospective authors or readers; in fact we hope that it will make it easier for authors to understand how they should write up their work into an appropriate format and for readers to understand how they should engage with the material.

Should there be a compelling reason to maintain an article type specific to your journal, we will be able to preserve this description on the journal’s website. For example Regional Graphic is used to describe one type of content published in Regional Studies, Regional Science and is well known in the community, although not more widely. This description will still display on works published on the journal’s website but it will link to another descriptor such as ‘Pictorial Work’. This, more generic, term will help users better understand what kind of content this is and how they should engage with it as well as improving its discoverability.

You can find the list of ‘article types’ below. If you have any questions or concerns, please direct these to your Editorial contact. We aim to start making these changes from February 2020 onwards.

  • Abstract
  • Addendum
  • Announcement
  • Article Commentary
  • Back Matter
  • Bibliography
  • Book Review
  • Books Received
  • Brief Report
  • Calendar
  • Case Report
  • Clinical study
  • Collection
  • Comment
  • Correction
  • Data Note
  • Discussion
  • Dissertation
  • Editorial
  • Essay
  • Exhibition
  • Fictional Work
  • Front Matter
  • In Brief
  • Interview
  • Introduction
  • Legal Case
  • Letter
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Meeting Report
  • News
  • Note
  • Obituary
  • Oration
  • Pictorial Work
  • Poetry
  • Product Review
  • Rapid Communication
  • Registered Report
  • Reply
  • Report
  • Research Article
  • Retraction
  • Review
  • Review Article
  • Study Characteristics
  • Systematic Review
  • Target Article
  • Technical Report
  • Terminology

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