Relevant. Research is relevant if it is of interest to a given target audience, whether specialists in a field or society in general. It can be referred to as “Popularity of the subject”, “Likelihood of drawing and keeping an audience” or “Appropriateness for the Journal”. Relevance is often based on usefulness – whether others can use it to their benefit, e.g. cancer research that suggests a cure is relevant to doctors treating cancer sufferers. Relevance answers the question “Why should anyone bother reading this?” Relevance is important because there is little point in publishing what people don’t read.
Elements. To check if a paper is relevant, consider research elements such as:
- Does the title invite people to read the research?
- Is the topic one that might interest others?
- Does the introduction explain the background history of the topic?
- Do others relate to the research problem?
- Does it match the publisher’s target audience?
- Do the research conclusions affect others?
- Are there implications for current theories?
- Are the research applications useful to others?
- Can future research build upon this?