NASA/DOD Aerospace Knowledge Diffusion Research Project. Paper Fifty Eight - Survey of Reader Preferences Concerning the Format of NASA Langley-Authored Technical Reports. Paper Presented at Greyworks '96 - The Second U.S. Workshop on Grey Literature organized by GreyNet, The Grey Literature Network Service and held at the Inn and Conference Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland.
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION HAMPTON VA LANGLEY RESEARCH CEN TER
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The U.S. government technical report is a primary means by which the results of federally funded research and development RD are transferred to the U.S. aerospace industry. However, little is known about this information product in terms of its actual use, importance, and value in the transfer of federally funded RD. Little is also known about the intermediary-based system that is used to transfer the results of federally funded RD to the U.S. aerospace industry. To help establish a body of knowledge, the U.S. government technical report is being investigated as part of the NASADoD Aerospace Knowledge Diffusion Research Project. In this paper, we summarize the literature on the U.S. government technical report and present the results of a survey of U.S. aerospace engineers and scientists that solicited their opinions concerning the format of NASA Langley Research Center LaRC-authored technical reports. To learn more about the preferences of U.S. aerospace engineers and scientists concerning the format of NASA LaRC-authored technical reports, we surveyed 133 report producers i.e., authors and 137 report users in March-April 1996. Questions covered such topics as a the order in which report components are read, b components used to determine if a report would be read, c those components that could be deleted, d the placement of such components as the symbols list, e the desirability of a table of contents, f the format of reference citations, g column layout and right margin treatment, and h and person and voice. Mail self-reported surveys were used to collect the data. The response rates for report producers i.e., authors was 68 and for users was 62.
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