There are three characteristic types of papers that define the scope of the TAGA Journal of Graphic Technology. These are:
- Quantitative Research: Quantitative research papers are traditional scientific papers that present the problem, discuss the background of the problem, present a hypothesis, discuss an experimental method to be applied, present the results using analytical statistical methods, and provide conclusions and recommendations for further research.
- Engineering: Engineering papers may not only include mechanical and electrical engineering subjects, but may also include approaches to computer programming, systems design, computer integrated manufacturing, XML applications, and so forth. In some instances paper making, ink, and other materials chemistry developments may be more suited to an engineering paper than a quantitative research paper.
Engineering papers are not quantitative, but rather present a technical solution to a problem. The paper will follow a modified outline. The problem and its significance must first be addressed in detail, along with criteria for successful solutions. This section of the paper must be followed with a detailed survey of current approaches and solutions to the subject problem and must demonstrate clearly how said approaches and solutions fail to meet the criteria of success. The author’s solution is then presented followed by quantitative arguments showing the degree to which the solution meets the criteria for success. The paper must conclude with a discussion of application as well as suggestions for further study and design.
- Qualitative Research: Subjects such as workflow analysis, digital copyright protection, color perception, management methodologies, cognitive retention of imagery or design, print quality studies, information architecture development, and so forth may not be suitable for quantitative research or engineering paper formats. When the other preferred categories are not appropriate, a qualitative research paper format may be used.
Original case studies, surveys, interviews, subject sampling and analysis, or comprehensive library research must support all qualitative research papers. In most cases, but not all, the use of descriptive statistical methods or comparative tabulation should be used in the author’s analysis. (An example of comparative tabulation would be a return on investment [ROI] analysis.)
Qualitative research papers may also use a modified outline, but unlike engineering papers, there is not a prescribed outline that must be followed; rather there are required elements. The required elements of a qualitative research paper (in addition to references, footnotes, title, abstract, etc.) are:
- A clear definition of the subject area and its meaning to the graphic arts and communications professional.
- A thorough discussion of previous work on the subject, as well as a definition of any applicable current best practices or standards.
- A discussion of current problems or shortcomings of such previous work supported in part by original research (as described above) and descriptive statistics if applicable.
- The author’s analysis and study.
- The author’s conclusion justified by original research (as described above) and descriptive statistics or comparative tabulation if applicable.
- A recommendation for application of the author’s conclusion, as well as further study or research.