C&EN Editors in Boston, Day 1
After several attempts, I'm delighted to post the first blog item from the ACS national meeting in Boston.
The meeting of C&EN’s editorial advisory board ended at 8:35 AM yesterday, Aug. 20, much earlier than usual. This meeting is scheduled for two hours, 7:30-9:30 AM on the Friday before every ACS national meeting. It is the venue through which C&EN’s editor-in-chief informs ACS governance about the state of the magazine. The board is chaired by the chair of ACS’s Joint Board-Council Committee on Publications, and its members include the chair of the ACS Board of Directors and the ACS president.
C&EN Editor-in-chief Rudy Baum reported several items of good news, including C&EN’s extensive coverage of the BP oil spill leading up to the June 14 cover story, which has elicited much positive feedback from readers. Traffic to C&EN Online is increasing; a major driver is C&EN’s Latest News postings, which now have significantly increased to about 20 per week.
C&EN launched the Environmental SCENE in July, the first of a series of news feeds to the web sites of ACS journals aimed at enlivening and adding relevant content to the homepage. Four ACS journals are now receiving this news feed: Environmental Science & Technology, Energy & Fuels, Chemical Research in Toxicology, and the Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry. According to preliminary statistics, this news feed has tripled traffic to ES&T’s home page
Every year C&EN conducts a survey to gauge how well the magazine is doing. I described major findings of C&EN’s 2010 annual survey of reader satisfaction: Overall, satisfaction remains high, with respondents saying they strongly agree that C&EN is generally well written and presented, keeps them abreast of significant news, and keeps them adequately informed of ACS. Respondents continue to rate us highly in the tasks we do to fulfill C&EN’s mission.
The survey respondents’ demographics caused some lively discussion: 87% are male, 48% work in industry, 39% work in academia, 80% have a Ph.D., 84% are age 45 or older, mean age is 54, 78% subscribe to the print edition. Where were women, the B.S. and M.S. readers, and those younger than 45? If you belong to any of these underrepresented groups in our survey, we would like to know what we can do to encourage you to participate.
Another survey result that caused considerable discussion was the differences between subscribers to the print and the electronic edition: Those receiving the print were more likely to have higher satisfaction, to have read the past four issues, and to regard C&EN as good as or superior to other profession-related publications. We speculated about the causes of these differences. If you subscribe to the electronic edition and are not satisfied with it, do tell us why.
Ken Carroll, the director of advertising sales gave the final presentation. His message was unsurprising—the advertising market continues to be difficult—but somewhat upbeat, noting that the difficult market of the past two years has made C&EN even more competitive and well-positioned for the challenges in 2011.