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Research Brief #2: Data and mixed-methods design
Figure 1. Increasingly erratic number of issues per year from the “Pages of Content” dataset.
The Harding Project employs a mixed methods approach to evaluate the performance of and make recommendations for the U.S. Army's professional journals.1 Combining the development and analysis of new datasets, interviews, and surveys provides a unique perspective on the Army's journals and how they might improve. Future research briefs will explore this data.
The Harding Project has made extensive use of open sources to aggregate and interpret new data. Titles of each dataset are links to the raw data. As of 11 August 2023, these datasets include:
Editorial staffing. This dataset consists of the editorial staff at the individual-year level based on the mastheads of Military Review (1931-2022), Infantry (1982-2022), Armor (1931-2020), Field Artillery/Fires (1911-2020), and Engineer (1971-2022). For each individual during each recorded year, the data includes the individual's position title, status as military or civilian, military rank, whether they are an exchange officer, whether they are retired military, whether they are a contractor. Generally, individual-years are recorded every five years for a total of 539 individual-years.
Pages of content. This dataset consists of the number of pages of content per issue of Infantry (1982-2020), Armor (1982-2020), Field Artillery/Fires (1980-2020), Engineer (1980-2020), Special Warfare (1989-2020), Army Logistics (1996-2020), and Military Intelligence (1980-2005). Each issue's data consists of the year, volume number, issue number, and number of pages per issue. Figure 1 is based on this dataset.
Military authors. This dataset consists of the authors of articles at Armor, Infantry, Field Artillery, Engineer, Military Review, Parameters, the Modern War Institute, and War on the Rocks from January 2022 to April 2023. Collected at the article-author level, each observation includes the outlet, URL, title, data of publication, author's name, the author's biography from the piece, and basic service data including the military service and rank if provided in the article's biography.
Professional citations. This dataset includes all 9,017 citations from 90 Command and General Staff (CGSC) student theses and 120 Military Review articles. Observations include whether the piece was a CGSC thesis or Military Review article, a unique identifier for each piece, the citation, the year of the citation, the age of the citation, the year of the citing piece, and whether the citation was one of a number of military professional outlet types.
CGSC Student Paper Publication (Under Development). This dataset will record whether the authors of 588 CGSC student papers from 1966 - 2022 hosted on DTIC publish them in other formats. Of the 157 already coded, 6 were published. Observations include the report name, author name, report number, whether the report was published based on Google and Google Scholar searches, and the abstract of the article.
Other research methods
Beyond aggregating open-source data, the Harding Project surveyed and interviewed military authors.
Survey of military authors. This survey collected information on demographics, the success of different professional writing outlets, writing habits, barriers to writing, and the potential for editorial volunteerism. In all, the survey collected 70 responses from 457 Army authors for a response rate of 15.3%.
Interviews. Interviews helped interpret unusual citation patterns.
Download this research brief.
Professional writing includes professional bulletins, Military Review, and Parameters.