The Scientist Readers' Survey: Methodology

Best Places to Work in Industry 2010

Survey Form: A web-based survey was posted on The Scientist web site from September 9 to November 30, 2009. Results were collected and collated automatically.

Invitations: E-mail invitations were sent to readers of The Scientist and registrants on The Scientist web site who identified themselves as working in commercial or industrial companies.

Responses: 1962 useable and qualified responses were received. Responses were rejected if the respondent did not identify him or herself as working in a commercial company, if the respondent's company was not identified or identifiable, or if the response was a duplicate, based on e-mail address and other criteria.

Analysis: Respondents were asked to assess their working environment according to 45 criteria in 8 different areas by posing positive statements with which the respondent was asked to agree or disagree. Answers were scored on a 1...

Identification of Institutions: As far as possible companies were identified and names were standardized. Companies with multiple locations, including multiple international locations were merged.

Scoring: Scores for each statement were averaged by company
Factor Analysis: Based on the importance scores given to each factor, we calculated an average importance score for each factor and for each group of factors.

Thresholds: We received responses from 241 companies, of which 32 companies received 5 or more responses. Responses from different locations, including international locations, within the same company were combined.

Company Ranking: In order to calculate the overall rankings of companies, we first weighted each factor based on the average importance score. The overall rankings were based on the average score per company on all factors, weighted as described.

Companies were also ranked based on all factors, unweighted.

In addition, we ranked companies based on unweighted average scores for the 8 major topics covered by the statements included in the survey. These categories are:

  1. Research Environment
  2. Management
  3. Integrity
  4. Communications
  5. Job Satisfaction
  6. Training and Development
  7. Remuneration and Benefits
  8. Policies and Practices

Results are published in The Scientist, June 2010 issue and are available on The Scientist web site.

The sample of respondents was self selected, which may introduce some bias into the results.

  • The scoring of results is not standardized and standards may fluctuate between individuals, companies and countries.
  • In some cases, small sample responses may have led to bias in the results.
  • No attempt has been made to measure the statistical significance of the results. The difference between, say a 5th ranked and 10th ranked company may be statistically insignificant.

The survey was developed and responses were analyzed by AMG Science Publishing (

Click here to view the questions used in the survey.

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