A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Research

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1.
#30998

404 File Not Found: Citing Unstable Web Sources   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Researchers, including students, must accommodate to the mutating character of hyperlinks on the World Wide Web. A small study of citations in three volumes of BCQ demonstrates the phenomenon of 'URL rot,' the disappearance of sites cited in the sample articles. Digital technology itself is now being used to create pockets of permanence, but with the understanding that preservation of content is only one ingredient in the mix of media and format migration. Databases like JSTOR offer digitally preserved copies of many scholarly journals. Online journals and search engines may offer their own archives. In general, researchers should cite digital articles in databases where possible and consider avoiding references to online journals with print editions.

Griffin, Frank. Business Communication Quarterly (2003). Articles>Research>Style Guides>Online

2.
#32319

Aardvark et al.: Quality Journals and Gamesmanship in Management Studies   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Publication in quality journals has become a major indicator of research performance in UK universities. This paper investigates the notion of `quality journal' and finds dizzying circularity in its definitions. Actually, what a quality journal is does not really matter: agreement that there are such things matters very much indeed. As so often happens with indicators of performance, the indicator has become the target. So, the challenge is to publish in quality journals, and the challenge rewards gamesmanship. Vested interests have become particularly skilful at the game, and at exercising the winners' prerogative of changing the rules. All but forgotten in the desperation to win the game is publication as a means of communicating research findings for the public benefit. The paper examines the situation in management studies, but the problem is much more widespread. It concludes that laughter is both the appropriate reaction to such farce, and also, perhaps, the stimulus to reform.

Macdonald, Stuart and Jacqueline Kam. Journal of Information Science (2007). Articles>Publishing>Management>Research

3.
#37855

The Academic Eye: Informing Visually   (members only)

What does it mean to be literate in the digital age? For many of us brought up in the world of print, it means finding ways images can convey information and argument. As academics, it means we need to develop the eye for seeing shapes in data, helping students learn and use images ethically and effectively, and understanding the demands on our counterparts in industry to be communicators skilled in words and images.

Barker, Thomas. Intercom (2011). Articles>Academic>Research

4.
#38554

Academic Scientists at Work: The Job Talk

If you want to win the race, you need to present what the search committee, department chair, and all the department faculty need to see and hear to motivate them to offer you a position. Chances are the position will be in a department with faculty members who have varied research interests, all of whom have some stake in the hire. Hence, your audience will be a complex mix of scientists with distinct and diverse standards. While this sounds challenging, good organization and a clear idea of what is expected will help you in your quest for the dream position. This article will discuss what you need to present in your job talk, how to organize it, and how to prepare your slides.

Boss, Jeremy M. and Susan H. Eckert. Science (2004). Careers>Presentations>Research

5.
#33352

Acting on User Research

User research offers a learning opportunity that can help you build an understanding of user behavior, but you must resolve discrepancies between research findings and your own beliefs.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2004). Articles>Usability>Research

6.
#29152

The Added Value Features of Online Scholarly Journals   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Online scholarly journals have become an important tool for the generation of knowledge and the distribution and access to research. The purpose of this article is to analyze the features of online scholarly journals and to determine whether they incorporate new Internet-enabled features and functions which help to meet the needs of the members of the scholarly community more effectively. Drawing on Taylor's concept of added value [1], the features of online scholarly journals were classified into the following types: features which enhance ease of use and facilitate access to data, features that provide selected information and thus reduce noise, features which improve quality, features which address specific user needs, and features which contribute to time or cost savings. The analysis revealed that, although some online journals operate in the same way as print journals, there are others which incorporate innovative features which are transforming the journal to make it a more effective tool for scholarly activity.

Luzón, María José. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2007). Articles>Research>Publishing>Online

7.
#14307

Advice on Research and Writing

A collection of advice about how to do research and how to communicate effectively (primarily for computer scientists).

Leone, Mark. Carnegie Mellon University (1998). Academic>Writing>Research

8.
#18539

Aggregated Article Databases: Research Beyond the Internet  (link broken)   (PDF)

Introduces aggregated article databases—searchable collections of magazines, newspapers, and journals—and explains their relevance to the research work of technical communicators.

Sheffield Hulick, Jennifer L. Intercom (2003). Articles>Research>Online

9.
#32296

Amusing Titles in Scientific Journals and Article Citation   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The present study examines whether the use of humor in scientific article titles is associated with the number of citations an article receives. Four judges rated the degree of amusement and pleasantness of titles of articles published over 10 years (from 1985 to 1994) in two of the most prestigious journals in psychology, Psychological Bulletinand Psychological Review. We then examined the association between the levels of amusement and pleasantness and the article’s monthly citation average. The results show that, while the pleasantness rating was weakly associated with the number of citations, articles with highly amusing titles (2 standard deviations above average) received fewer citations. The negative association between amusing titles and subsequent citations cannot be attributed to differences in the title length and pleasantness, number of authors, year of publication, and article type (regular article vs comment). These findings are discussed in the context of the importance of titles for signalling an article’s content.

Sagi, Itay and Eldad Yechiam. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Publishing>Research>Scientific Communication

10.
#18817

Analysis of Tools Used in the UK by Technical Communicators  (link broken)

During March and April 2003, Cherryleaf carried out an online survey into the current trends in technical communication. One of the questions we asked was: Which software tools do you personally use to do your job? The respondents were able to select more than one tool from the list provided. We filtered our results to find the most popular software tools used by technical communicators in the UK.

Cherryleaf (2003). Articles>Research>Software>United Kingdom

11.
#34326

Analysis, Plus Synthesis: Turning Data into Insights

In this article, I will outline an approach to gleaning insights from primary qualitative research data. This article is not a how-to for creating the design tools that are often the outputs of primary qualitative user research—such as personas, mental models, or user scenarios. Instead, it identifies an approach to generating overarching insights, regardless of the design tool you want to create.

Ellerby, Lindsay. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Centered Design>Interviewing>Research

12.
#38669

Analyzing Computer-Mediated Communication in Professional Environments: An Activity Theory Approach

CMC is not an end in itself, but a way to accomplish cyclical work objectives. CMC genres are part of an ecology of genres, providing additional ways to communicate, ways that interact with other genres. To understand how these ecologies of genres work in professional environments, we must understand the activities they mediate. To investigate, I (and many others in professional communication) have turned to field studies.

Spinuzzi, Clay. SlideShare (2012). Presentations>Research>Workplace>Activity Theory

13.
#33997

Annals. Computer Science Series   (peer-reviewed)

Annals. Computer Science Series (Romanian original title Anale. Seria Informatică) was founded in 2003 by the collective of researchers of Computers and Applied Computer Science Faculty in "Tibiscus" University of Timişoara, being an annual – in printed form - international journal. The journal publishes scientific research papers presented in the framework of the International Conference "Actualities and Perspectives in Hardware and Software", event under the high patronage of the Romanian Academy, as well as research articles exposed on the "European Conference on Computer Sciences & Applications". Annals. Computer Science Series is an e-journal with free publication of original scientific work in any Computer Science area, as well as its applications to other domains such as Mathematics, Economics, Technical Sciences or Medicine. We accept to publish, after reviewer’s evaluation, theoretical and applicative studies, wishing to offer to interested audience interpretations and analyses of most recent approaches and results in above mentioned areas.

University of Timisoara (2008). Academic>Research>Computers and Writing>Online

14.
#38043

Annoying Ways People Use Sources  (link broken)

Writers can forget that their readers are sometimes just as annoyed at writing that fails to follow conventions as drivers are when stuck behind a car that fails to move over. Think of providing signals to your readers about your intentions, much as wise drivers rely on their turn signals to communicate their intentions to other drivers.

Stedman, Kyle D. Writing Spaces (2011). Articles>Writing>Research

15.
#13524

Annual Awards for Contributions to the Field of Technical Communications   (peer-reviewed)

The ACM SIGDOC Executive Board welcomes letters of nomination for the SIGDOC Rigo and Diana Awards. The Rigo Award celebrates an individual's lifetime contribution to the field of information design, technical communication, and online information design; the Diana Award celebrates the contribution of an organization, institution, or business.

ACM SIGDOC. Academic>Research>Assessment

16.
#31979

The Application of Rhetorical Theory in Managerial Research: A Literature Review   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Recent management research imports rhetorical scholarship into the study of organizations. Although this cross-disciplinarity is heuristically promising, it presents significant challenges. This article interrogates management's use of rhetoric, contrasting it with communication studies. Five themes from management research identify how rhetoric is used as an organizational hermeneutic: The article demonstrates that management research conceptualizes rhetoric as a theory and as an action; as the substance that maintains and/or challenges organizational order; as being constitutive of individual and organizational identity; as a managerial strategy for persuading followers; and as a framework for narrative and rational organizational discourses. The authors argue that organizational researchers who study rhetoric characterize persuasive strategies as managers' most important actions.

Hartelius, E. Johanna and Larry D. Browning. Management Communication Quarterly (2008). Articles>Management>Research>Rhetoric

17.
#13855

An Approach for Applying Cultural Study Theory to Technical Writing Research   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

When the idea of culture is expanded to include institutional relationships extending beyond the walls of one organization, technical writing researchers can address relationships between our power/knowledge system and multiculturalism, postmodernism, gender, conflict, and ethics within professional communication. This article contrasts ideas of culture in social constructionist and cultural study research designs, addressing how each type of design impacts issues that can be analyzed in research studies. Implications for objectivity and validity in speculative cultural study research are also explored. Finally, since articulation of a coherent theoretical foundation is crucial to limiting a cultural study, this article suggests how technical writing can be constituted as an object of study according to five (of many possible) poststructural concepts: the object of inquiry as discursive, the object as practice within a cultural context, the object as practice within a historical context, the object as ordered by language, and the object in relationship with the one who studies it.

Longo, Bernadette. Technical Communication Quarterly (1998). Academic>Research>Cultural Theory>Technical Writing

18.
#25683

As We May Think

Professionally our methods of transmitting and reviewing the results of research are generations old and by now are totally inadequate for their purpose.

Bush, Vannevar. Atlantic Monthly (1945). Articles>Collaboration>Research>History

19.
#23244
20.
#26841

ATTW Research Repository  (link broken)

Technical communication has experienced an explosion in theory and research. This site has been established as a central site to connect those who want to do research, those who want to fund research, and those who have the need for research results. It could pave the way for more and better research in our profession.

ATTW. Resources>Collaboration>Research

21.
#32324

Better Reporting of Randomized Trials in Biomedical Journal and Conference Abstracts   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Well reported research published in conference and journal abstracts is important as individuals reading these reports often base their initial assessment of a study based on information reported in the abstract. However, there is growing concern about the reliability and quality of information published in these reports. This article provides an overview of research evidence underpinning the need for better reporting of abstracts reported in conference proceedings and abstracts of journal articles; with a particular focus in the area of health care. Where available we highlight evidence which refers specifically to abstracts reporting randomized trials. We seek to identify current initiatives aimed at improving the reporting of these reports and recommend that an extension of the CONSORT Statement (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials), CONSORT for Abstracts, be developed. This checklist would include a list of essential items to be reported in any conference or journal abstract reporting the results of a randomized trial.

Hopewell, Sally, Anne Eisinga and Mike Clarke. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Scientific Communication>Research>Biomedical

22.
#30714

Beyond Google: How Do Students Conduct Academic Research?

This paper reports findings from an exploratory study about how students majoring in humanities and social sciences use the Internet and library resources for research. Using student discussion groups, content analysis, and a student survey, our results suggest students may not be as reliant on public Internet sites as previous research has reported. Instead, students in our study used a hybrid approach for conducting course-related research. A majority of students leveraged both online and offline sources to overcome challenges with finding, selecting, and evaluating resources and gauging professors' expectations for quality research.

Head, Alison J. First Monday (2007). Articles>Education>Research>Online

23.
#30717

Beyond Google: How Do Students Conduct Academic Research?

This paper reports findings from an exploratory study about how students majoring in humanities and social sciences use the Internet and library resources for research. Using student discussion groups, content analysis, and a student survey, our results suggest students may not be as reliant on public Internet sites as previous research has reported. Instead, students in our study used a hybrid approach for conducting course-related research. A majority of students leveraged both online and offline sources to overcome challenges with finding, selecting, and evaluating resources and gauging professors' expectations for quality research.

Head, Alison J. First Monday (2007). Articles>Education>Research>Online

24.
#32307

Bibliometrics to Webometrics  (link broken)   (members only)

Bibliometrics has changed out of all recognition since 1958; becoming established as a field, being taught widely in library and information science schools, and being at the core of a number of science evaluation research groups around the world. This was all made possible by the work of Eugene Garfield and his Science Citation Index. This article reviews the distance that bibliometrics has travelled since 1958 by comparing early bibliometrics with current practice, and by giving an overview of a range of recent developments, such as patent analysis, national research evaluation exercises, visualization techniques, new applications, online citation indexes, and the creation of digital libraries. Webometrics, a modern, fast-growing offshoot of bibliometrics, is reviewed in detail. Finally, future prospects are discussed with regard to both bibliometrics and webometrics.

Thelwall, Mike. Journal of Information Science (2008). Articles>Research>Online>Assessment

25.
#31600

Bite-Sized UX Research

Regardless of the cause for your company’s resource crunch, focus on getting small wins as often as possible throughout your involvement in a project. This is a fairly common piece of advice that crops up time and time again, but it’s very much worth repeating. And it applies just as readily to both situations where time is short and those when there’s just not enough of you to go around.

Baty, Steve. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Experience>Research>Methods

 
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