Counting the Ways of Keeping Up With It All

Click for larger version of survey graph (27K) A survey of 314 of our readers provides a picture of their science-reading habits. The majority, 56%, spends more than three hours per week reading primary research articles in print and online, and 10% read more than 10 hours per week. We asked respondents which multidisciplinary journals they read frequently.

By | September 8, 2003


A survey of 314 of our readers provides a picture of their science-reading habits. The majority, 56%, spends more than three hours per week reading primary research articles in print and online, and 10% read more than 10 hours per week.

We asked respondents which multidisciplinary journals they read frequently. Naturally, The Scientist came out on top - these are readers of The Scientist after all - with 80% reading or skimming more than half the issues. Other widely perused journals were Science (59%), Nature (52%) and New Scientist (27%). Our readers mentioned more than 170 other journals that command their attention. The respondents also keep up with science news in other ways; the chart shows how they get it done.

In their comments, many scientists praised the web for transforming their reading habits and making it easier to locate articles, but others preferred their old modus operandi. "I still like print versions instead of the trend to all web-based material, because I basically can read the print versions anywhere I go."

The vast majority of readers, however, lamented the little time they had to consume what's new. Said one: "I never have enough time to read it all. I start with the abstracts and read entire papers only on key areas of interest."

--Alexander Grimwade


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