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The Scholarly Kitchen’s Readership Survey: Demographic Analysis

Consider how your audience interacts with your work

Earlier this year, for The Scholarly Kitchen’s 10th anniversary, my fellow chef, Alice Meadows, led a survey under the auspices of the Scholarly Kitchen Cabinet (the Society for Scholarly Publishing’s [SSP’s] governing body for the Kitchen) intended to learn more about our readership. Alice published an overview of those findings earlier this year in these pages. The findings helped us to learn more about the composition of our audience as well as how they discover and interact with our work and how well we are meeting their needs. The Kitchen is a volunteer effort on behalf of a professional community, and we take seriously our responsibilities to serve that community’s needs while serving as a vehicle for the self-improvement of that community.

Alice’s analysis found that our survey respondents are representative of the industry in terms of race/ethnicity and gender, which is to say the demographics skew white (87 percent of respondents, identify as white vs 7 percent as people of color) and female (61 percent female, 34 percent male, 1 percent another gender). Other than a small number of under 25s and over 65s, respondents were fairly evenly distributed by age: 19.5 percent are 26-35; 26.5 percent are 36-45; 25 percent are 46-55: and 18.5 percent are 56-65. As we conducted the preliminary survey analysis, we agreed it would also be helpful to examine key subgroups. In providing some stratified analysis by gender, race/ethnicity, and age, it is my goal to see if there are ways to make the Kitchen more inclusive.

Frequency of reading helps us understand how often an individual chooses to interact with our publications. Respondents report reading the Kitchen with nearly identical frequency regardless of demographic characteristics. When looking at the percentage that read the Kitchen once a week or more often, there are not meaningful differences by gender (males: 72 percent, females 71 percent) or by race/ethnicity (white: 71 percent, POC: 72 percent). The frequency of daily readership increases with age. Among 26-35 year olds 15 percent read daily, among 36-45 year olds 23 percent read daily, among 46-55 year olds 24 percent read daily, among 56-65  year olds 30 percent read daily, and among those over 65 years old 55 percent read daily.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Scholarly Kitchen.

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