2012–2013 Reader Survey Results: Good News!

by Jennifer Risser [ Center for International Stabilization and Recovery ] - view PDF

The Journal of ERW and Mine Action thanks you, our subscribers, for sharing your opinions of our print and online publication. We received a 7.8% survey response rate—more than double the usual direct response rate! Here are a few of the highlights.

You suggested that we write about a wide range of topics; here are a few:

Note that although The Journal does not currently cover chemical or biological weapons, 29% of you thought this would also be an interesting topic.

Figure 1. “Which of these Journal topics interest you (multiple selections acceptable)?”
Figure 1. “Which of these Journal topics interest you (multiple selections acceptable)?”
All graphics courtesy of CISR.

We found that most of you are happy with The Journal layout (98%) and agree that the content is appropriate (87%). You like the current length of articles and believe that articles should only be long enough to convey essential information (86%). We are also pleased to report that a large majority of you (94%) are happy with The Journal’s editing process.

Figure 2. “Which sections in The Journal do you read (multiple selections acceptable)?”
Figure 2. “Which sections in The Journal do you read (multiple selections acceptable)?”

We received a few suggestions for improvement, which we plan to implement, beginning with Issue 17.2/Summer 2013.

When asked which version of The Journal you prefer to access, 36% said you prefer using the print version, while 41% prefer accessing both the print and online versions. Only 16% prefer the online-only version.

We received a variety of responses to the question “Why do you prefer to read the print version [of The Journal]?” Numerous respondents noted that “old habits die hard” and that they didn’t “like to read content on the computer.” Notably, readers stated

Figure 3. “Which version of The Journal do you access?”
Figure 2. “Which sections in The Journal do you read (multiple selections acceptable)?”

We also received constructive suggestions on how to improve readers’ experience with the online version of The Journal. While the overwhelming majority of you (98%) felt the layout and design of the print and online versions are easy to follow, some of you offered additional feedback including:

Based on these and other suggestions received, the online version of The Journal will implement several improvements. Primarily, a PDF of each complete issue will be made available. The PDF will have navigational links to move easily through the issue and access other online resources; and it will contain additional articles that are available online only.

The HTML version will be improved and include interactivity. The HTML version will be simplified for easier navigation and limit the need to scroll. We will include better descriptions of the topics in each issue and incorporate mouse-over definitions of uncommon words or expressions.

“Why would you not submit an article to an ONLINE-ONLY edition?”
• “The hard copy is more user friendly and nice to show.”
• “Not valued by my institution”
• “Much less visibility”
• “A printed version is like a living thing, an online version is virtual.”
• “Implies [the article is] not important enough for the print version.”
• “If I had something interesting to write, I would like it to be of such importance that it should be in the paper version too!”
We will also improve the online directory of past issues to include a topic-based index of articles and work to create a mobile application and a tablet format for The Journal.

The Journal team will continue to take your suggestions to heart as we move forward with future issues. Thank you for your time and invaluable feedback! c


Biography

Jennifer RisserJennifer Risser joined the staff in April 2009 as assistant editor for The Journal of ERW and Mine Action, and became managing editor in November 2011. Previously, she worked as an editorial assistant at the Penguin Group in New York. Risser received a Master of Arts in publishing studies from City University, London, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from James Madison University.

 


Contact Information

Jennifer Risser
Managing Editor
Center for International
Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807 / USA
Tel: +1 540 568 8049
Fax: +1 540 568 8176
Email: risserje@jmu.edu
Website: http://www.jmu.edu/cisr