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PLoS Author Surveys 2010

In 2010, PLoS conducted our second comprehensive survey of authors – those whose work was either published or rejected in 2009.  As we did last year, we have provided a short summary of the findings in a slideshare presentation, along with an audio commentary.

In general, the results reinforce the findings that we obtained in 2009, in that the levels of satisfaction remain high amongst PLoS authors.  There were several areas identified where processes could be improved, notably our journal management system, and in 2010 we initiated a project to migrate to the Editorial Manager system from Aries.  As we tune Editorial Manager to our specific needs, authors, reviewers and editors should all benefit from an improved experience with our publications.

One of the more striking observations from the 2010 survey was the evidence that PLoS ONE gained further ground as an attractive venue to publish research.  In the 2009 survey 23% of authors viewed PLoS ONE as a first choice journal, and in the 2010 data this figure had increased to 37%.

Based on the popularity of LinkedIn amongst our authorship, we also decided it was time to improve our presence there.  We’ve launched a number of groups including one for PLoS as an organization and another to let you know which meetings and events we’re attending.

Another question we asked was about author perceptions of the article-level metrics initiative that was launched in 2009.  The levels of awareness were generally very good, and many authors provided positive feedback about these metrics.  Article-level metrics are an important step towards more powerful and meaningful mechanisms for assessing the impact and influence of research, and we hope that many other publishers will begin to adopt similar approaches.

Finally, we would like to thank all of the authors who took the time to share their thoughts and opinions in the surveys.  This feedback is absolutely essential as we work towards improving the services that we offer – we will also welcome your participation in the 2011 surveys which will be sent out in the next few weeks.

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