Digital Scholarship Survey Results and Changes

Thanks to the 179 respondents who filled out the Digital Scholarship survey.

Asked the question "The following free digital publications are important sources of information for me," respondents' favorable ratings (five-point Likert Scale, with "Agree" and "Strongly agree" responses added together) were:

  1. Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (established 10/96): 80.5%
  2. Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals (established 3/05): 73.2%
  3. Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources (established 9/97): 70.4%
  4. Open Access Webliography (established 8/05): 64.3%
  5. Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog (established 6/01): 59.2%
  6. DigitalKoans (established 4/05): 36.9%
  7. FlashBack (established 6/05): 19.5%

High levels of "Neither agree or disagree" responses for DigitalKoans (54.2%) and FlashBack (64.8%), combined with reader comments, suggested that readers were not as familiar with these publications as with the others.

The top-ranked publications in terms of continuation were: (1) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography, (2) Open Access Bibliography, and (3) Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources.

Annual paperback editions were of interest to 33.5% of respondents (both "agree" categories) for the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography and the 30.1% of respondents for the Open Access Bibliography. The acceptable price range was most frequently between $30 and $50.

Based on this survey and on use data (which does not always correlate well with the survey), I'm making the following changes:

  • Flashback has been discontinued. I'll cover a few of the most interesting items in regular DigitalKoans postings.
  • The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog will be published monthly instead of biweekly.
  • Version two of the Open Access Webliography will be written.
  • A print-on-demand edition of the 2007 annual version of the Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography will be published. (The HTML SEPB version and Scholarly Electronic Publishing Resources will continue to be published quarterly and they will continue to be freely available).

I'll take the high level of interest in the Open Access Bibliography under advisement. Like SEPB, the OAB is a major undertaking. It took nine months of more than full-time effort to write a draft for submission and a considerable amount of follow-up time to finalize it for publication.

Finally, a clarification. Some readers apparently assume that the above digital publications have been the result of a team effort. With the exceptions of the Open Access Webliography (which has a co-author), the Open Access Bibliography PDF file, and prior use of UH search engines for SEPB/SEPW, this has never been true. In addition to content creation, I have done all of the related Web and other digital production work myself, including creating and maintaining the Digital Scholarship site.

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