I disagree with all but 1 of your things to look at for quality.
#1: ATIP has NOTHING to do with quality, it only leads you to an idea about the manufacturer, and this only tells you about reputation. Remember, this doesn't give you any idea about the batch number and therefor could still be a good CD-R from a generally bad manufacturer, or a bad CD-R from a generally good manufacturer.
#2: Comparing C1/C2 error rates; This will give you an idea of the disc quality, but it depends on how accuratly your CD Burner returns C2 info... but generaly this is the most reliable way to test for quality, at least amongst us amateurs.
#3: Type of Dye used; Completely unimportant. Taiyo Yuden uses Cyanine, but so do many third tier companies that make pretty cruddy CD-Rs. Phthalocyanine is used by Mitsui, but also some REALLY crappy third tier factories use it as well. Azo is used mainly by Mitsubishi Chemicals, but I believe that some other companies are starting to use it now. Formazon was a hybrid, and was used by the late Kodak manufacturers, but they arenm't made anymore
. Basically, every dye type CAN be good, and several are known to also be bad on occasion.
#4: I've never heard of thickness being an issue. I am aware that different CD-Rs have different thicknesses, but I've never seen any corrilation between quality and thickness.
#5: Quality of protective layer; This has NOTHING to do with burn quality, but can have a large impact on how long the quality of the CD-R lasts. You can theoretically have a really bad CD-R that is protected from degrading further.... but that won't help you if it was bad to begin with!
Sorry, I'm not meaning to knitpick, but things are confusing enough in the CD industry. If this is for a research project, then he had better stick with the bare essentials that can be verified instead of branching out into areas that can't really be helpful to him. Imagine trying to cross reference burn quality tests taking into account the Dye type. All of a sudden you have 4 or 5 sub catagories (assuming a proper range of media to begin with) and this can get very complicated.