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SPIE Professional January 2009

Survey Bolsters SPIE Professional

Results point to raising awareness of free technical content on SPIE Newsroom Web site.

By Kathy Sheehan

 SPIE Professional magazine

SPIE Professional will continue to provide articles on industry news and events, career issues, and photonics’ impact on society as a result of preferences expressed in a reader survey of the magazine last summer.

More than 1600 SPIE members from across the globe participated in the reader survey. Thank you! You provided valuable information that allows the Society to enhance the 3-year-old quarterly publication and increase awareness and usage of free technical content available in the SPIE Newsroom.

The magazine is a benefit of your membership in SPIE, and your opinions are very important.

Survey Results

Results of the survey indicate that at least three-quarters of our members rate highly the variety, tone, and timeliness of the articles in SPIE Professional and appreciate that the articles are well written and presented in a visually appealing way. Approximately 75% also agreed or strongly agreed that the magazine articles are useful in the workplace and broaden your knowledge of what other professionals in the field are doing.

Survey participants were asked to rate the types of content in the magazine. You told us that you were most interested in industry news and features, with 83% of participants saying that optics and photonics industry topics were valuable or very valuable. Other types of content rated as highly valuable were articles about photonics education, events, and careers.

Asked about preferences for future issues of the magazine, your top 10 topics were:

1. R&D in optics and photonics

2. Conferences and events

3. Technology and market reports

4. Regional hot spots

5. Commercialization of innovations

6. New patents

7. Photonics’ impact on society

8. Careers in optics and photonics

9. Funding and grant opportunities

10. IP issues

Many readers also added comments such as, “Contents on entrepreneurs’ personal stories and commercialization of optics and photonics innovations should be increased.”

A profile on an optics entrepreneur has been a standing feature in each issue of SPIE Professional, and other content has been aimed at supporting current and future leaders in optics.

SPIE Newsroom Technical Articles

A few survey participants said they preferred SPIE Professional’s predecessor, oemagazine, and/or missed the technical articles that were a key part of that publication.

Some 65% of our members said they were uncertain or not aware that free technical articles are available online in the SPIE Newsroom.

Those responses indicated that SPIE Professional needs to increase awareness of the vast amount of technical content published by the award-winning SPIE Newsroom.

The SPIE Newsroom contains articles on technical developments written by those doing the research, all available for free. The Web site also offers industry news, product announcements, and multimedia content such as video interviews with researchers and newsmakers and Webinars on technical topics.

Keyword-searchable content is updated continually and organized in 13 technical topics such as solar and alternative energy, biomedical optics and imaging, optical design and engineering, lithography, and nanotechnology.

For two years in a row, SPIE Newsroom has won editorial content awards from the Society of National Association Publishers.

For more information, visit spie.org/newsroom.


Survey Stats

• 95% Confidence level with ±2.3% margin of error

• 88% are interested in reading articles about R&D in optics and photonics

• 79% want to read more reports about technology and markets

• 66% say content about career topics is valuable or very valuable

• 54% say overall quality is excellent or above average compared to similar publications

• 51% discuss or share articles with colleagues and/or students

• 43% read the print edition only

• 38% seek additional information about an article after reading

• 21% read the magazine on the Web exclusively

• 11% of SPIE members responded


iPod winner

iPod prize from SPIE Professional surveySPIE member Douglas Hobbs, president and cofounder of TelAztec of Burlington, MA (USA), was rewarded for taking the SPIE Professional reader survey with a gift of an iPod nano from SPIE. Hobbs’ name was randomly drawn from a large pool of survey respondents.

TelAztec conducts R&D of optical devices employing microstructures for anti-reflection and color filtering.

Thanks, Douglas!


Have a question or comment about this article? Write to us at SPIEprofessional@spie.org.


DOI: 10.1117/2.4200901.12

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