The Scholarly Kitchen at Ten: Results of our First Readership Survey

heat map of tsk global readerhsip


Earlier this year, under the auspices of the Kitchen Cabinet (the Society for Scholarly Publishing [SSP] committee responsible for The Scholarly Kitchen), we carried out our first readership survey. Celebrating our tenth anniversary felt like a good time to reflect on how well we are meeting SSP’s goals for the blog, whether those goals need to be revisited, and what you, our readers, like — and don’t like — about the Kitchen. Many thanks to all 777 of you who responded, and especially to the 663 who made it all the way to the end of what was quite a long and complex survey! Over the past few weeks, the results have been presented to the Chefs, the SSP Board, and attendees at the 2018 SSP annual meeting. Now it’s your turn!

First, the high-level demographics. Respondents overwhelmingly identify as white (87%); the remainder identify as Asian or mixed/multiple (3% each), black (1%), or preferred not to say (6%). 61% identify as women, 34% as men; less than 0.5% identify as transgender or none of these options; and 4% preferred not to say. Both in terms of race/ethnicity and gender, therefore, respondents broadly reflect the makeup of our industry as shown in previous surveys, such as that from Digital Science/Fordham in 2015. Interestingly — and encouragingly — we have a great spread of readers across all career stages:19.5% of respondents are 26-35; 26.5% are 36-45; 25% are 46-55: and 18.5% are 56-65. Around 2% are 25 and under, 5.5% are 65 and older, the remainder chose not to provide this information.

Two thirds of respondents (66%) were from the US/Canada and 28.5% from Europe (including the UK), with tiny minorities from Asia (2%), Australasia (1.5%), Latin America (including Mexico) and Middle East/Africa (both less than 1%). This broadly reflects what we know of the Kitchen’s readership from the blog analytics (see map below).

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