Elpub buttonEl.pub Reader Survey Results
March 2002



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CONTENTS:
Methodology | 1. The survey | 2. Organisation activity (%) | 3. Country (%) | 4. EU funded project participant (%) | 5. Website visit frequency (%) | 6. Number of readers (%) | 7. Priority of sections (%) | 8. Effect of changes (%) | 9. Feedback (%) | 10. Overall (%) | 11. Other comments | 12. Conclusions


FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME - INTERACTIVE ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING
March 2002 El.pub survey results

INFORM project
Date: 19 April 2002

Methodology

A short questionnaire was mailed to the El.pub Weekly subscriber list in January 2002. A copy of the questionnaire is available for download as a zipped text file.

URL: download zipped email questionnaire http://www.elpub.org/quest4.zip

El.pub Survey 4 results

1. The survey

These results are for the survey of newsletter subscribers. In the third survey we had 145 responses (January 2001), second survey (April 2000) we had 124 responses (web and newsletter), and 93 in the first survey (May 1999). In this survey we have 139 replies (March 2002). The response rate is about 12%. Nearly half the respondents visit the web site at least once a week.

The survey was not carried on the web site as the previous survey had very few respondents via the web compared with the e-mail version. In that survey the two questionnaires were different. The result led us to the conclusion that previous entries from the web (first and second surveys) had been from newsletter readers.

URL: January 2001 Survey http://www.elpub.org/results3.htm
URL: April 2000 survey http://www.elpub.org/results2.htm
URL: May 1999 survey http://www.elpub.org/results.htm

2. Organisation activity (%)

What is the principal activity of the organisation you work for?

 
March 2002
Jan 2001
Academic
27
19
Information industry
17
16
Publishing
15
11
Other commercial
14
14
Government
11
10
Computer industry
8
21
Entertainment industry
2
4
Broadcasting
1
2
Other
4
1

There has been a significant drop in the number of people describing themselves as from the computer industry, with more from the academic, publishing and information sectors.

3. Country (%)

Where are you now?

 
March 2002
Jan 2001
April 2000
EU
75
75
70
North America
10
8
20
Other European
8
8
4
S America
1
-
-
Asia / Middle East
1
6
3
Pacific / Australasia
4
3
2
Africa
1
-
1

4. EU funded project participant (%)

Are you a participant in a European Commission funded R&D project?

 
March 2002
Jan 2001
Yes
27
26
No
73
74

Are you a participant in a national or otherwise publicly funded R&D project?

 
March 2002
Yes
37
No
63

This is the first time we asked about participation in non-EU programmes. Taken together with the previous question this shows that we reach more project researchers in total than we had thought. Analysing the two questions together we find that 46% of respondents are in a publicly funded research project, 18% are in both an EU and a national project, and 37% of non-EU respondents are in a national project. This is much better contact with researchers than implied by the 27% vs 73% split on just EU projects.

5. Website visit frequency (%)

How often do you visit the El.pub web site?

 
March 2002
Jan 2001
Daily
2
4
Weekly
40
46
Monthly
26
30
Less than once a month
24
17
Never
8
4

6. Number of readers (%)

Are you the only person who sees this copy of thenewsletter or is it seen by several people?

 
March 2002
Jan 2001
One
74
75
2-5
22
17
5+
4
8

7. Priority of sections (%)

The question asked people to rate sections of the content as high priority (H), update when possible (C), or drop, given the reduction of resources. Some people only rated some sections so we have added a non-response column.

 
H
C
D
n
Weekly news
69
25
2
4
Event lists
24
55
14
7
Project info
32
56
8
4
Topic info
45
43
1
10
Analysis pages
38
39
17
6
Resource links and papers
47
37
9
7
Assoc links
10
52
25
13
E-journal links
34
45
13
8
Product links
17
43
32
8
Creative tech pages
24
45
21
10
VR pages
12
32
45
11
Ed publishing pages
30
44
19
6

8. Effect of changes (%)

Do you think the overall effect of the changes that have taken place so far has

Reduced value
10
Little effect
44
Improved value
38
Non-response
8

9. Feedback (%)

The question asked what the impact of requests for information on a two-monthly cycle would be.

Ignore
9
Reply if subject interesting
71
Leave service
1
Welcome chance to input views
17
Non-response
2

10. Overall (%)

The web site content is designed to cover the technical aspects of electronic publishing R&D rather than the market aspects. Do you think overall the site is

 
March 2002
April 2000
Too technical
12
4
Too market oriented
4
6
About right
80
83
Non response
5
7

Although these figures are not very different they may reflect the shift in organisations shown in section 2 above.

11. Other comments

73% no comment, 14% positive but uninformative, 13% positive and informative.

12. Conclusions

The figures are similar to those in the past surveys. The level of support for the service remains high despite the changes that have taken place over the past few months.

There is some reason to believe that the figures reflect the specific views of the newsletter readers and that the web users may vary from this in part. The low score of the VR pages is not surprising as we publish a separate VR newsletter, which has its own devoted readers. Only a limited amount of VR news is published in both. Another low scorer, product links, seems to be of more interest to web readers as the product pages are one of the most popular entry points to the web site, probably from search engine hits.

Although news continues to be the prime interest of readers, the high demand for other information such as topic, project, and resource pages, continues despite the drop in resources currently available for updating these sections. The publishers will try to continue to keep these sections up-to-date at the expense of the other sections such as creative technology and events. The sections on associations and products will remain but not be actively extended.

We would like to thank all the people who took part in the survey, for helping us keep the site aligned with user requirements.


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