Field Study Project for the Army Research LaboratoryKatie RappApril 22, 2013
Background slide 4Scientific journals – selecting journals tosurvey slide 5Survey methodology – journals slide 8Journal co...
Federal technical reports – selectingreports to survey slide 45Survey methodology – reports slide 47Report covers slide 49...
 ARL Technical Publishing asked me to surveyleading scientific journals and federaltechnical reports and gather informati...
 I assembled a list of 36 journals using ARLsuggestions and SCImago Journal Rankings (SJR)◦ The SJR uses the Google PageR...
 The list includes the top 3 journals from SJRin the following disciplines:◦ Chemical engineering◦ Chemistry◦ Computer sc...
 Accounts of ChemicalResearch ACM Computing Surveys ACS Nano Advances in Physics American Scientist Annual Review of...
 I accessed a PDF of the latest issue of eachjournal through University of Marylanddatabases◦ Printed a hard copy of a fu...
 I scrolled through articles until I foundexamples of each design feature of interest ineach journal◦ I recorded the data...
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 I identified editors, obtained contactinformation for each journal and asked them:◦ Which style guide is used◦ Which fon...
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 The typical journal in this survey uses:◦ Two column text, full justification, paragraphindents, a serif font such as Ti...
 The typical journal in this survey uses:◦ No rules around images◦ Tables with only horizontal rules (to set off columnhe...
 All of the scientific journals surveyed use fulljustification for the main body text in articles Six of the 36 journals...
 All surveyed journals use tabbed indents atthe beginning of new paragraphs However, almost two-thirds of the journals i...
 Over three-quarters of the surveyed journalsuse two columns for main body article text Six use just one column Two pub...
 Many journals use two columns for text, but adifferent configuration (full page or 2/3 page)for the title and abstractFr...
 All but two of the journals (Accounts ofChemical Research and ACS Nano) use aserif-style font for main body text◦ Many u...
 I identified the serif-style fonts used in 20 ofthe surveyed journals:◦ Adapted Times Roman 12◦ ArnoPro 10◦ Janson 9/12◦...
 Over two-thirds of the surveyed journals useonly horizontal rules in tables Horizontal rules are used in a variety of w...
From Applied Mechanics ReviewsFrom ACS NanoFrom Journal of Physical Chemistry BFrom Nature MaterialsHorizontal ruleswithin...
 Tables in the Annual Reports publications includehorizontal and vertical rules (inside the tableonly, not framing the ta...
From Advances in Physics Almost two-thirds of the surveyed journalsuse no rules around images and illustrations31
 Two journals (Astrophysical Journal andTrends in Cognitive Sciences) use rulesaround illustrations consistently Ten jou...
 Journals use a variety of design elements onthe first page of articlesFrom Nature Biotechnology Six of the 36journals i...
 Other common design elements for firstpage:◦ Vary width of title and abstract (full or 2/3 page)◦ Use contrasting, sans ...
From Journal of CatalysisRules to setoff abstractand keywordsTitle and authorsleft justifiedacross fullpage, abstractfull ...
From Applied Mechanics ReviewsFrom Journal of Biological ChemistryTitle and authors leftjustified across fullpage in sans ...
From Accounts of Chemical ResearchHorizontal rulesabove andbelow, separatingabstract and graphicelement from titleand auth...
From ACS NanoTitle and authorsacross fullpage, title in seriffont (rest of articlesans serif)Vertical colorbar on rightmar...
From ScienceTitle, authors andabstract across2/3 page, sansserif type, leftjustification, ragged right39
From ScienceArticle startedmid-page set offwith horizontalruleContrasting sans seriftype used forsubheads, footnotes, capt...
From ACS NanoColored rule on topand side with word“Article” throughoutjournalFrom Annual Review of Clinical PsychologyColo...
From Journal of Physical Chemistry BColor used throughoutmain body text – forhorizontal rule at topof page and underfigure...
From Annual Review of BiophysicsSummary pointsplaced in shaded boxat end of articleFrom Nano LettersInitial drop cap incon...
 Chicago Manual of Style is, by far, the mostfrequently-used style manual among thepeer-reviewed scientific journals surv...
 I assembled 23 technical reports from a varietyof federal agencies using databases suggestedby ARL◦ I searched the datab...
 Argonne National Laboratory Defense Nuclear FacilitiesSafety Board Department of Energy Department ofJustice, Nationa...
 I accessed a PDF of each technical report◦ Printed a hard copy of the report cover47SciTech Connect Database
 I scrolled through each technical report until Ifound examples of each design feature ofinterest (number of columns for ...
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 The typical report in this survey uses:◦ One column text, left (ragged right) justification, notabbed paragraph indents,...
 The typical report in this survey uses:◦ No rules around images◦ Tables with rules used throughout the full gridFrom Nat...
 Generally, federal technical reports in thissurvey have simple design elements◦ Over 80 percent use a single column for ...
61From Naval Research Laboratory Technical ReportFrom Naval Research Laboratory Technical ReportAlternating pageheader wit...
62From Department of Energy Technical ReportEach page with headercontaining agency nameand date in sans serif fontEach pag...
63From Department of Energy Office of Health Safety andSecurity Technical ReportColor sectionheading, subheads, andmargina...
64From Department of Energy Technical ReportColor sectionheadingsextending intothe leftmargin
65From Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationTechnical ReportColorsubheads, noparagraphindent aftersubhead Larger b...
66From Department of Justice, National Institute of JusticeTechnical ReportTables withhorizontalrules, color attop andbott...
 To collect additional data, I created an onlinesurvey using Survey Monkey◦ I asked about style guides and fonts used in ...
 Survey respondents described avariety of style guides used ingovernment publications◦ Most use or refer to the GPO Style...
 In addition to GPO, the followingstyle guides are used:◦ ANSI/NISO Z39.18◦ AP style◦ Chicago Manual of Style◦ Gregg Refe...
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Survey of Design Features in Selected Scientific Journals and Federal Technical Reports

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Virtual field study project completed by MLS student Katie Rapp for the Army Research Laboratory Technical Publications division in support of their redesign efforts.

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Survey of Design Features in Selected Scientific Journals and Federal Technical Reports

  1. 1. Field Study Project for the Army Research LaboratoryKatie RappApril 22, 2013
  2. 2. Background slide 4Scientific journals – selecting journals tosurvey slide 5Survey methodology – journals slide 8Journal covers slide 12Internal design – typical elements injournals slide 20Variations in journal design features slide29The front page – setting the tone slide 33Additional design elements in journalsslide 40Style guides in scientific journals slide 442
  3. 3. Federal technical reports – selectingreports to survey slide 45Survey methodology – reports slide 47Report covers slide 49Internal design – typical elements infederal technical reports slide 58Additional design elements in reportsslide 61Survey of federal publications slide 67Style guides used in federalpublications slide 683
  4. 4.  ARL Technical Publishing asked me to surveyleading scientific journals and federaltechnical reports and gather information tohelp them improve and update ARL technicalpublications Information of interest includes:◦ Style guides used for editing◦ Journal and technical report cover designs◦ Internal design features such as fonts, number ofcolumns, use of rules around tables and images4
  5. 5.  I assembled a list of 36 journals using ARLsuggestions and SCImago Journal Rankings (SJR)◦ The SJR uses the Google PageRank™ algorithm◦ Shows visibility of journals in the Scopus® (Elsevier)database5
  6. 6.  The list includes the top 3 journals from SJRin the following disciplines:◦ Chemical engineering◦ Chemistry◦ Computer science◦ Engineering◦ Materials science◦ Psychology6
  7. 7.  Accounts of ChemicalResearch ACM Computing Surveys ACS Nano Advances in Physics American Scientist Annual Review ofBiophysics Annual Review ofClinical Psychology Annual Review ofMaterials Research Annual Review ofPsychology Applied MechanicsReviews Applied Physics Letters Astrophysical Journal Catalysis Reviews -Science and Engineering Chemical Reviews Chemical SocietyReviews Foundations and Trendsin Information Retrieval IEEE CommunicationsSurveys and Tutorials IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits IEEE Transactions onPattern Analysis andMachine Intelligence Journal of AppliedMechanics Journal of BiologicalChemistry Journal of Catalysis Journal of PhysicalChemistry B Journal of the AmericanChemical Society Nano Letters Nature Nature Biotechnology Nature Chemistry Nature Materials Nature Nanotechnology Nature Photonics Physical Review Letters Proceedings of theAnnual ACM-SIAMSymposium on DiscreteAlgorithms Psychological Bulletin Science Trends in CognitiveSciences7
  8. 8.  I accessed a PDF of the latest issue of eachjournal through University of Marylanddatabases◦ Printed a hard copy of a full article from eachjournal◦ Took a screen shot of the first page of an articlefrom each journal I used an Excel spreadsheet to collect andorganize data on each design feature ofinterest for each journal8
  9. 9.  I scrolled through articles until I foundexamples of each design feature of interest ineach journal◦ I recorded the data in the spreadsheet and took ascreen shot to document each design feature◦ I took screen shots of any additional designfeatures of interest that I found in each journal andalso any anomalies (for example variable use ofrules around images)9
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  11. 11.  I identified editors, obtained contactinformation for each journal and asked them:◦ Which style guide is used◦ Which font and font size is used for main body textin articles11
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  20. 20.  The typical journal in this survey uses:◦ Two column text, full justification, paragraphindents, a serif font such as Times New RomanFrom Chemical Society Reviews20
  21. 21.  The typical journal in this survey uses:◦ No rules around images◦ Tables with only horizontal rules (to set off columnheadings as well as above and below tables)From Chemical Society Reviews21From Journal of Applied Mechanics
  22. 22.  All of the scientific journals surveyed use fulljustification for the main body text in articles Six of the 36 journals in the survey use leftjustification(ragged right) toset off abstracts Some also set offimagecaptions, figures,and footnoteswith leftjustificationFrom Science22
  23. 23.  All surveyed journals use tabbed indents atthe beginning of new paragraphs However, almost two-thirds of the journals inthe survey use no indent for the firstparagraph in a new section or subsection inthe article.From Chemical Society Reviews23
  24. 24.  Over three-quarters of the surveyed journalsuse two columns for main body article text Six use just one column Two publications (Science and AmericanScientist) use three columns for textFrom Annual Review of BiophysicsOne column textwith space formarginal notes24
  25. 25.  Many journals use two columns for text, but adifferent configuration (full page or 2/3 page)for the title and abstractFrom Applied Physics LettersTwo columnarticle text, butone column fortitle and abstract25
  26. 26.  All but two of the journals (Accounts ofChemical Research and ACS Nano) use aserif-style font for main body text◦ Many use a contrasting sans serif font to set offtitles, abstracts, captions and/or footnotesFrom Nature ChemistrySerif-style font(Minion Pro) formain bodytext, withcontrasting sansserif font used fortitle and abstract26
  27. 27.  I identified the serif-style fonts used in 20 ofthe surveyed journals:◦ Adapted Times Roman 12◦ ArnoPro 10◦ Janson 9/12◦ Minion Pro 9.3◦ Palatino Std 9.6◦ Times 12 Some fonts are used in multiplepublications, for example, Janson in theAnnual Reviews and Minion Pro in the Naturepublications◦ Times New Roman 10/12◦ Times New Roman 9◦ Times Roman 9/10◦ Times Roman 10/11.5◦ Warnock Pro 9.75/11.7527
  28. 28.  Over two-thirds of the surveyed journals useonly horizontal rules in tables Horizontal rules are used in a variety of ways The most common is a horizontal rule on topand bottom of the table, and sometimes alsosetting off the column headingsFrom Journal of CatalysisTypical table withhorizontal rulesat top andbottom andsetting offcolumn headings28
  29. 29. From Applied Mechanics ReviewsFrom ACS NanoFrom Journal of Physical Chemistry BFrom Nature MaterialsHorizontal ruleswithin shadedboxHorizontal rulesat top andbottom, columnheadings inshaded barDouble rule attopWide rule attop, contrasting color29
  30. 30.  Tables in the Annual Reports publications includehorizontal and vertical rules (inside the tableonly, not framing the table). IEEE publicationsinclude rules throughout the grid.From Annual Review of BiophysicsFrom IEEE Transactions on PatternAnalysis and Machine Intelligence30
  31. 31. From Advances in Physics Almost two-thirds of the surveyed journalsuse no rules around images and illustrations31
  32. 32.  Two journals (Astrophysical Journal andTrends in Cognitive Sciences) use rulesaround illustrations consistently Ten journals use them occasionally or vary inusing rulesFrom Applied Mechanics ReviewsRulesNo rule32
  33. 33.  Journals use a variety of design elements onthe first page of articlesFrom Nature Biotechnology Six of the 36journals in thesurvey set off theabstract from themain text with leftjustification and aragged right edgeTitle, authors, andabstract left justifiedacross full page insans serif type33
  34. 34.  Other common design elements for firstpage:◦ Vary width of title and abstract (full or 2/3 page)◦ Use contrasting, sans serif font for title and abstract◦ Indent one or both sides of abstract◦ Use horizontal or vertical rules to set abstract apartfrom main body text◦ Shaded boxes, colored text and graphics areadditional design elements seen on the first page34
  35. 35. From Journal of CatalysisRules to setoff abstractand keywordsTitle and authorsleft justifiedacross fullpage, abstractfull justificationacross 2/3 page35
  36. 36. From Applied Mechanics ReviewsFrom Journal of Biological ChemistryTitle and authors leftjustified across fullpage in sans seriftype, abstract insideboxTitle and abstract across2/3 page, fulljustification, sans seriftype for title, wide verticalrule separating abstractand title from authors36
  37. 37. From Accounts of Chemical ResearchHorizontal rulesabove andbelow, separatingabstract and graphicelement from titleand authorsTitle and authorscentered acrossfull page, abstractfully justifiedacross fullpage, indented onleft and right37
  38. 38. From ACS NanoTitle and authorsacross fullpage, title in seriffont (rest of articlesans serif)Vertical colorbar on rightmargin, coloredrule at topMain body text onfirst page dividedinto 3 columnswith one used forarticle information(rest of article 2-column)Abstract across fullpage in shadedcolor box withbottom color ruleand graphic element38
  39. 39. From ScienceTitle, authors andabstract across2/3 page, sansserif type, leftjustification, ragged right39
  40. 40. From ScienceArticle startedmid-page set offwith horizontalruleContrasting sans seriftype used forsubheads, footnotes, captions, and tables; captionsvary including multiplecolumns and wrappingaround illustrationsFrom Science40
  41. 41. From ACS NanoColored rule on topand side with word“Article” throughoutjournalFrom Annual Review of Clinical PsychologyColored text usedfor sectionheadings, marginal notes withhorizontal rules41
  42. 42. From Journal of Physical Chemistry BColor used throughoutmain body text – forhorizontal rule at topof page and underfiguresFrom Journal of Physical Chemistry BColor used forsectionheadings, horizontalrules, tables42
  43. 43. From Annual Review of BiophysicsSummary pointsplaced in shaded boxat end of articleFrom Nano LettersInitial drop cap incontrasting color43
  44. 44.  Chicago Manual of Style is, by far, the mostfrequently-used style manual among thepeer-reviewed scientific journals surveyed◦ Four journals reported using it alone and six moreuse CMoS in conjunction with a house style Many journals use a house style◦ ACS Style Guide◦ Nature house style guide and Hart’sRules◦ Publication Manual of the APA◦ Other journals also noted use of ahouse style44
  45. 45.  I assembled 23 technical reports from a varietyof federal agencies using databases suggestedby ARL◦ I searched the databases for examples of recenttechnical reports, most from 2012 or 201345Energy Citations Database
  46. 46.  Argonne National Laboratory Defense Nuclear FacilitiesSafety Board Department of Energy Department ofJustice, National Institute ofJustice Ernest Orlando LawrenceBerkeley National Laboratory Government AccountabilityOffice Idaho National Laboratory Los Alamos NationalLaboratory National Institute of Standardsand Technology Naval Research Laboratory Oak Ridge National Laboratory Occupational Safety and HealthAdministration Pacific Northwest NationalLaboratory Sandia National Laboratories Savannah River NationalLaboratory US Army Research Institute forBehavioral and Social Sciences46
  47. 47.  I accessed a PDF of each technical report◦ Printed a hard copy of the report cover47SciTech Connect Database
  48. 48.  I scrolled through each technical report until Ifound examples of each design feature ofinterest (number of columns for main bodytext, justification, tabbed paragraphindents, rules around tables andimages, fonts) I recorded the data in the spreadsheet andtook a screen shot to document designfeatures of interest48
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  58. 58.  The typical report in this survey uses:◦ One column text, left (ragged right) justification, notabbed paragraph indents, a serif font such asTimes New RomanFrom Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryTechnical Report58
  59. 59.  The typical report in this survey uses:◦ No rules around images◦ Tables with rules used throughout the full gridFrom National Institute of Standards and TechnologyTechnical Report59From Los Alamos National Laboratory Technical Report
  60. 60.  Generally, federal technical reports in thissurvey have simple design elements◦ Over 80 percent use a single column for main bodytext◦ About 90 percent use left justification (raggedright) throughout the report◦ Two thirds of the surveyed reports use blockparagraphs (no tabbed indents to set off newparagraphs)◦ Some reports contain design elements that setthem apart such as headers andfooters, color, rules, sans serif type forheadings, and varied table formatting60
  61. 61. 61From Naval Research Laboratory Technical ReportFrom Naval Research Laboratory Technical ReportAlternating pageheader with horizontalrule and authors oneven pagesAlternating with reporttitle on odd pages
  62. 62. 62From Department of Energy Technical ReportEach page with headercontaining agency nameand date in sans serif fontEach page with footercontaining report title andpage number in sans seriffont
  63. 63. 63From Department of Energy Office of Health Safety andSecurity Technical ReportColor sectionheading, subheads, andmarginalheadings insans seriffontTwocolumns, noparagraphindents, ragged rightjustification
  64. 64. 64From Department of Energy Technical ReportColor sectionheadingsextending intothe leftmargin
  65. 65. 65From Occupational Safety and Health AdministrationTechnical ReportColorsubheads, noparagraphindent aftersubhead Larger blackfont forsectionheadings, noparagraphindent aftersectionheading
  66. 66. 66From Department of Justice, National Institute of JusticeTechnical ReportTables withhorizontalrules, color attop andbottom withdouble rule attop, sans seriftypeFrom Department of Justice, National Institute of JusticeTechnical ReportTables withhorizontalrules andalternatingshaded rows
  67. 67.  To collect additional data, I created an onlinesurvey using Survey Monkey◦ I asked about style guides and fonts used in federalpublications◦ The survey was posted on the FEDLIB list serv67
  68. 68.  Survey respondents described avariety of style guides used ingovernment publications◦ Most use or refer to the GPO StyleManual in combination withanother style guide68
  69. 69.  In addition to GPO, the followingstyle guides are used:◦ ANSI/NISO Z39.18◦ AP style◦ Chicago Manual of Style◦ Gregg Reference Manual◦ Scientific Style and Format-7thedition (Council of Science Editors)◦ House styles (NIST and USGS)69

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