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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

7.1 Introduction

The previous chapter examined a range of developing responses from those wishing to publish scholarly journals to the pressures for transformation and the potentials of the new technologies. As part of this discussion a number of types of e-journals were discussed as well as three particular leading-edge e-journals. The development of these e-journals demonstrate an increase in interest in e-journals as a legitimate form of scholarly communication.

Despite this increase in e-journal activity, there has been little research into potential and actual e-journal users (see 1.8: Related work on page 20 for a review of existing survey work). This chapter reports on two related surveys dealing with attitudes and access to e-journals. The first had as its target population the readership of a single e-journal. To provide comparative data, the same survey instrument was also used with members drawn from comparable professional societies.

This chapter first discusses the processes associated with administering these two surveys. First it considers the design of the survey instrument, the choice of target population, the administration of the survey instrument, and the response rate. Next the techniques of analysis (both descriptive and statistical) are outlined, with particular care to document any assumptions made. Finally the results are presented, with the addition of tables and graphs as appropriate. The interpretation of the results and their comparison with related survey work will be dealt with in Chapter 9: Interpretation of findings.

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© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * http://andrew.treloar.net/ * andrew.treloar@gmail.com