Results from a readership survey of the AAPG EXPLORER taken in late August/early September actually improved over previously stellar findings from a 2007 survey.
Eighty-seven percent gave a very good to excellent “overall” rating to the EXPLORER, compared to 74 percent in ’07.
The survey is conducted every two years to gauge the thoughts of the membership about the EXPLORER editorial quality, layout, production and other member general opinions of the publication.
All 27,827 members with an e-mail address were invited to answer 20 questions concerning the quality and features in the EXPLORER, with 3,896 responding. Interestingly, 14 percent also responded to a hard-copy random survey mailed in 2007.
Included in the findings were:
- Eighty-four percent responded that the EXPLORER was a magazine they actually read instead of just received. The AAPG BULLETIN was second with 67 percent, followed by the Oil & Gas Journal at 36 percent, and seven other publications trailing.
The EXPLORER percentage was up from 78 percent in 2007.
- Eighty-three percent rated the EXPLORER a “4” or “5” on the question “Does the EXPLORER properly represent AAPG?”
- Eighty-seven percent responded the EXPLORER as very good to excellent in appearance.
- Articles dealing with the business side of geology are of most overall interest of the items appearing in the EXPLORER on a regular basis, with seventy-eight percent of the members responding positively. Other favorites were (listed in order):
- Professional News Briefs – 75 percent.
- President’s Column – 70 percent.
- Geophysical Corner – 59 percent.
- Director’s Corner – 55 percent.
An interesting demographic note is that while 70 percent of the EXPLORERs are mailed to U.S. addresses, 40 percent said their predominant responsibilities are international, showing there are a number of U.S. residents who are predominately responsible for international projects.
It also notes there are those working abroad that have U.S. “drop box” delivery. There was also strong support for printed EXPLORERs over going all digital
Always interesting are the comments, which were again overwhelmingly positive, but some were explicit in their “constructive criticism.”
Here is a sampling:
- “Too much advertising!”
- “Comes too often – can’t keep up with reading them, then it’s a big chore to get caught up.”
- “I really like having the EXPLORER in the house – people who visit see the great photos and begin to ask questions and read the articles … a fine sales pitch to the industry we work in!”
- “Regularly when I read the EXPLORER on a plane the person next to me asked about a picture or about what I am doing.”
- “Greetings to all the staff. More grease to your elbows!”
Among the comments concerning coverage, there were a notable number of comments that called for more non-U.S. articles.
A number of comments dealt with climate change – with both sides of the discussion wanting the EXPLORER to be an advocate – on their side.
One of the comments shook us up: “Seismic is not a noun.”
Several comments concerned the size of the EXPLORER, preferring a standard magazine size.
Responses from the survey will be analyzed and appropriate changes and suggestions incorporated into the editorial planning and also used for demographic analysis.
While all the results are important and will figure into the considerations, there is one question that stands out from the rest:
Do you trust the information you receive in the EXPLORER as factual?
5 (yes) – 44.9 percent.
4 – 42.2 percent.
3 – 11 percent.
2 – 1.7 percent.
1 (no) – 0.2 percent.
(Editor’s note: The tabloid size reflects the newspaper values of the publication; is more economical to print and mail; provides additional editorial space; allows for a larger variety of advertising sizes; allows larger ads for the display of seismic and other technical illustrations; and differentiates us from the ordinary.)