Elpub buttonEl.pub Reader Survey Results
January 2003



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CONTENTS:
Methodology | 1. The survey | 2. Possibility of paying for newsletter or sponsorship | 3. Organisation activity (%) | 4. Country (%) | 5. EU funded project participant (%) | 6. Other nationally funded project (%) | 7. Website visit frequency (%) | 8. Most useful information (%) | 9. Number of readers (%) | 10. Overall (%) | 11. Conclusions


FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME - INTERACTIVE ELECTRONIC PUBLISHING
February 2003 El.pub survey results

INFORM project
Date: 13 February 2003

Methodology

A short questionnaire was mailed to the El.pub Weekly subscriber list in January 2003. A copy of the questionnaire is available for download as a zipped text file.

URL: download zipped email questionnaire http://www.elpub.org/quest5.zip

El.pub Survey 5 results

1. The survey

These results are for the fifth survey of newsletter subscribers. In the fourth survey we had 139 responses (March 2002), 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 108 replies (January 2003). The response rate is about 8%. The reason for the drop in the response rate is not clear, but may be related to the fact that we indicated in the questionnaire that the web site may close soon.

URL: March 2002 Survey http://www.elpub.org/results4.htm
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. Possibility of paying for newsletter or sponsorship

As the current sponsors have indicated that they may not support the site after the end of March, we asked respondents whether they would be prepared to pay for the newsletter and related web access and whether the organisations they belonged to might be prepared to sponsor the work. 15% indicated that they would be prepared to pay for the newsletter and 6% indicated that their organisations might be prepared to be sponsors.

3. Organisation activity (%)

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

 
Jan 2003
March 2002
Academic
27
27
Information industry
11
17
Publishing
16
15
Other commercial
10
14
Government
15
11
Computer industry
11
8
Entertainment industry
1
2
Other
9
6

4. Country (%)

Where are you now?

 
Jan 2003
March 2002
Jan 2001
EU
71
75
75
North America
13
10
8
Other European
6
8
8
S America
2
1
-
Asia / Middle East
2
1
6
Pacific / Australasia
6
4
3
Africa
-
1
-

5. EU funded project participant (%)

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

 
Jan 2003
March 2002
Jan 2001
Yes
22
27
26
No
78
73
74

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

 
Jan 2003
March 2002
Yes
31
37
No
69
63

Analysing the last two questions together we find that 41% of respondents are in a publicly funded research project, 12% are in both an EU and a national project. The drop in the numbers from the previous survey may be related to the stage in the cycle of EU RTD funding, or perhaps the depressed state of the new media market.

7. Website visit frequency (%)

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

 
Jan 2003
March 2002
Jan 2001
Daily
-
2
4
Weekly
29
40
46
Monthly
27
26
30
Less than once a month
30
24
17
Never
14
8
4

The change in the situation here is explained by the fact that the web site is now only updated weekly. At the time of the earlier surveys the web site was updated twice weekly and the newsletter weekly. In 2001 the links from the newsletter were only to the website - we changed this as a result of an earlier survey and now show links to both the El.pub web site and the source web sites. The result has clearly been to make the newsletter independent from the web site for a little under half of the readers compared with 20% in 2001. As the number of visitors to both the web site and the newsletter has continued to grow steadily, this independence seems to have enabled us to reach a larger overall readership.

8. Most useful information (%)

In the previous survey, we had asked respondents to rate the priority to them of each section as it was necessary to reduce or remove resources from some sectors. This time we simply asked which information sections people found most useful.

News
66
Topic
43
Project
42
Analytic
38
Events
33
Electronic journals
32
Products
28
Events
23
Creative technology
22
Resources
20
Archive
14
Search
10
VR
9

The low figure for VR is due to the fact that we run a separate VR newsletter (VREfresh) with a large circulation.

9. Number of readers (%)

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

 
Jan 2003
March 2002
Jan 2001
One
72
74
75
2-5
26
22
17
5+
2
4
8

The increase in multiple readership leads us to think that the overall readership of the newsletter is now over 2000.

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

 
Jan 2003
March 2002
Too technical
6
12
Too market oriented
2
4
About right
91
80
Non response
1
5

This is a significant improvement and may represent the fact that the site provides a lower level of technical background information and more analysis.

11. Conclusions

The overall figures are broadly similar to earlier surveys. The most important fact is that the reduction in resources in some areas such as event news, creative technology and educational publishing have not damaged the circulation of the newsletter or the number of visitors to the web site.

The transfer of resources to analysis (Analytic publication) has clearly been a success as the answers to question 8 show..

The response to the questions on alternative funding methods are as expected (similar questions were asked of VREfresh readers in the past). It is clear that although the publications have a surprisingly high readership, given the niche technical market in which they work, they would not be viable as a commercial proposition.

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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El.pub - Interactive Electronic Publishing R & D News and Resources
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Last up-dated: 1 December 2016

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