Skip to Main Content

Process: Research Outputs

Research Outputs

Decorative chess piece

Scholars circulate and share research in a variety of ways and in numerous genres. Below you'll find a few common examples. Keep in mind there are many other ways to circulate knowledge: factsheets, software, code, government publications, clinical guidelines, and exhibitions, just to name a few.

Outputs Defined


Original Research Article

An article published in an academic journal can go by several names: original research, an article, a scholarly article, or a peer reviewed article. This format is an important output for many fields and disciplines. Original research articles are written by one or a number of authors who typically advance a new argument or idea to their field.


Conference Presentations or Proceedings

Conferences are organized events, usually centered on one field or topic, where researchers gather to present and discuss their work. Typically, presenters submit abstracts, or short summaries of their work, before a conference, and a group of organizers select a number of researchers who will present. Conference presentations are frequently transcribed and published in written form after they are given.



Books are often composed of a collection of chapters, each written by a unique author. Usually, these kinds of books are organized by theme, with each author's chapter presenting a unique argument or perspective. Books with uniquely authored chapters are often curated and organized by one or more editors, who may contribute a chapter or foreward themselves.



Often, when researchers perform their work, they will produce or work with large amounts of data, which they compile into datasets. Datasets can contain information about a wide variety of topics, from genetic code to demographic information. These datasets can then be published either independently, or as an accompaniment to another scholarly output, such as an article. Many scientific grants and journals now require researchers to publish datasets.



For some scholars, artwork is a primary research output. Scholars’ artwork can come in diverse forms and media, such as paintings, sculptures, musical performances, choreography, or literary works like poems. s.



Reports can come in many forms and may serve many functions. They can be authored by one or a number of people, and are frequently commissioned by government or private agencies. Some examples of reports are market reports, which analyze and predict a sector of an economy, technical reports, which can explain to researchers or clients how to complete a complex task, or white papers, which can inform or persuade an audience about a wide range of complex issues.


Digital Scholarship

Digital scholarship is a research output that significantly incorporates or relies on digital methodologies, authoring, presentation, and presentation. Digital scholarship often complements and adds to more traditional research outputs, and may be presented in a multimedia format. Some examples include mapping projects; multimodal projects that may be composed of text, visual, and audio elements; or digital, interactive archives.



Researchers from every field and discipline produce books as a research output. Because of this, books can vary widely in content, length, form, and style, but often provide a broad overview of a topic compared to research outputs that are more limited in length, such as articles or conference proceedings. Books may be written by one or many authors, and researchers may contribute to a book in a number of ways: they could author an entire book, write a forward, or collect and organize existing works in an anthology, among others.



Scholars may be called upon by media outlets to share their knowledge about the topic they study. Interviews can provide an opportunity for researchers to teach a more general audience about the work that they perform.


Article in a Newspaper or Magazine

While a significant amount of researchers’ work is intended for a scholarly audience, occasionally researchers will publish in popular newspapers or magazines. Articles in these popular genres can be intended to inform a general audience of an issue in which the researcher is an expert, or they may be intended to persuade an audience about an issue.



In addition to other scholarly outputs, many researchers also compose blogs about the work they do. Unlike books or articles, blogs are often shorter, more general, and more conversational, which makes them accessible to a wider audience. Blogs, again unlike other formats, can be published almost in real time, which can allow scholars to share current developments of their work.