How Much Importance Do We Give to Target Audiences in Article Writing?

Sima Nedjat, Saharnaz Nedjat, Jaleh Gholami, Mahnaz Ashoorkhani, Katayoun Maleki, Soroush Mortaz Hejrie, Reza Majdzadeh



Objectives: Writing papers can be used as a means to convey a message. Knowledge transfer is also about conveying the right message to the right target audience. The aim of this study was to determine the proportion of articles that had mentioned a clear message and the target audience in the abstract and the article as a whole, and also to examine their association with different determinant factors. 

Methods: Articles published from 2001 to 2006 that were based on clinical and health system research conducted on Iranian populations and on maternal care, diabetes and tuberculosis were searched systematically in domestic and international databases. Eventually checklists (Additional file 1) were completed for 795 articles.

Results: Overall, 98.5% of articles had a clear message, whereas 12.5% had addressed the direct target audience. Presence of a clear message in formatted abstracts were seen 3.6 times more (CI95%: 1.5-8.7) than in articles without formatted abstracts (p = 0.005). Addressing of the direct target audience was seen twice as much in health system research articles as compared to clinical studies, odds ratio was 2.3 (CI95%: 1.47-3.48 ,p<0.001).

Conclusions: Creating a format for journal abstracts seems to be an effective intervention for presenting the message in articles.

Keywords: Knowledge transfer; Research; Utilization; Iran; Audience; Message

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