Reader Survey Results

by Lois Carter Fay [ Center for International Stabilization and Recovery ]

Do you read most of the articles in each issue of The Journal?
(Click image to enlarge)
Do you read most of the articles in each issue of The Journal?

The staff of The Journal of ERW and Mine Action wants to thank you, our subscribers, for telling us what you think about our publication. We want you to know, “We heard you!” Over the next few issues, we will implement several changes as a result of this feedback. For instance, we plan to do the following:

Which sections of The Journal do you tend to read? (More than one answer is okay.)
(Click image to enlarge)
Which sections of The Journal do you tend to read? (More than one answer is okay.)
Do you share your copy of The Journal with others?
(Click image to enlarge)
Do you share your copy of The Journal with others?

In total, 176 readers completed the survey, which is an outstanding 10-percent response rate. Contrary to what we believed, we discovered that The Journal is being delivered in a timely manner, with 64 percent of the respondents saying they receive it within one month of mailing. In addition, although we do not plan to implement a subscription fee, we were pleased to learn that 59 percent of those responding would be willing to pay US$10 or more to continue receiving The Journal.

Which format do you prefer when reading The Journal - hard copy or online?
(Click image to enlarge)
Which format do you prefer when reading The Journal - hard copy or online?

When asked, “Which topics do you find most helpful?” several sections/topics were listed multiple times. In particular, many readers noted they like the R&D articles, Notes from the Field, and articles dealing with risk education and victim assistance. Case studies, hero profiles and organization profiles were also mentioned repeatedly, with some respondents loving them and others not liking them at all.

On the other hand, when asked, “Which sections provide the least value?” readers again repeatedly said hero profiles. Book reviews, country profiles and “sob stories” were also mentioned. One respondent said, “I think every now and again, you have an ‘odd’ article that could have been approached from a different perspective; however, overall, any article that makes it to publication is worth the time to read it.”

We found that many of our readers are sharing their Journal copies with others; some share it with as few as one other person while others share it with as many as 20 people. Several readers mentioned that they never let their printed editions out of their offices because they find the content too valuable to lose and they refer to past articles frequently. One respondent commented, “I cite the article and make a photocopy of the article. I don’t want to lose my copy.”

Below are selected responses* to the question, “What do you like best about The Journal?”:

“What do you like least about The Journal?” elicited these (selected) responses:*

We also received several interesting ideas from our readers regarding what new sections or topics they would like to see. One reader suggested adding more photo essays to the printed edition and more video on the website. Another said he would like to see more topics related to the betterment of deminers’ lives (working conditions, problems, benefits, etc.), and topics exposing sloppy UXO removal work. Other suggestions were:

All in all, we feel we have received valuable survey feedback. We will take your suggestions to heart and evaluate which ones are feasible as we chart our future course. Thank you for your time and ideas!

*Note: All responses have been edited for grammar, spelling and clarity. j

Biography

Lois Carter FayLois Carter Fay, APR, is Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of ERW and Mine Action and Project Manager on other publishing projects, including To Walk the Earth in Safety. Prior to joining the MAIC in 2005, Carter Fay was self-employed with MarketingIdeaShop.com, a consulting and publishing company, and today she continues this activity part-time.


Contact Information

Lois Carter Fay, APR
Editor-in-Chief
The Journal of ERW and Mine Action
Mine Action Information Center
Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
800 South Main Street, MSC 4902
Harrisonburg, VA 22807 / USA
Tel: +1 540 568 2503
Fax: +1 540 568 8176
E-mail: carterlx(at)jmu.edu
Website: http://cisr.jmu.edu or http://maic.jmu.edu