Research Publication Characteristics and Their Relative Values

Carol Tenopir, Suzie Allard, Ben Bates, Kenneth J. Levine, Donald W. King, Ben Birch, Regina Mays and Chris Caldwell  (September 2010)

Full Report   Press Release

ResearchpublicationcharacteristicsScholars consider many factors when judging the potential quality of articles and deciding which articles to read. These factors may also influence their perception of the overall quality of the article.

The goal of this project is to examine and measure the relative values of selected research publications characteristics to scientists and scholars and to understand the trade-offs readers make between these characteristics.Over 400 faculty members and researchers from 12 countries responded to a survey that asked questions about article characteristics, reading choices, and reading patterns. Ranking of characteristics and conjoint measurement were two techniques used to help measure choices.

 Key findings include: i) Topic of the article was ranked as the most important characteristic; (ii) The next most important characteristics selected were online accessibility and source of article; and (iii) Authors, type of publishers, and author(s) insitution were consitently ranked last.