Readership trends

ABB Review has been in continuous publication since 1914, possibly making it one of the world’s oldest corporate technical journals in the world, 899 issues have been published to date. The journal has undergone numerous changes during this time. To be able to continue to develop the journal and better meet the expectations of its readers, a readership survey was launched with issue 2/2022.

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Andreas Moglestue ABB Review Zürich, Switzerland, andreas.moglestue@ch.abb.com

Among the topics surveyed were general satisfaction with the content of the publication, the choice of languages in which the journal should be offered, and the balance between the tra­di­tional print edition and developing digital formats. The survey could only be completed online, and may thus present a bias towards the digital readership.

Languages
ABB Review is presently offered in five languages (English Chinese, German, Spanish and French). All of these languages are provided in both print and digital formats, except Chinese which is digital only.

01 “What is your main working language?” 
“Would you like to have access to ABB Review in languages other than what you read now?”
(Note that presently offered languages are English, Chinese, German, French and Spanish)
01 “What is your main working language?” “Would you like to have access to ABB Review in languages other than what you read now?” (Note that presently offered languages are English, Chinese, German, French and Spanish)

According to the survey, more than one third of readers want to read ABB Review in English →01. Besides the five languages of publication, small numbers of readers expressed interest in (in order of significance) Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Dutch, Turkish, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Urdu, Sinhala, Croatian, Arabic, Norwegian, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Polish, Hungarian, Romanian, Lithuanian, Persian, Hindi and Marathi – indicative of the worldwide and diverse readership of the journal.

Content
77 percent of readers use ABB Review to better understand ABB’s technologies →02. The vast majority of readers are also satisfied with article length →03, technical content →04 and frequency of publication →05.

02 “What are the main purposes of ABB Review for you?”
(multiple responses permitted)
02 “What are the main purposes of ABB Review for you?” (multiple responses permitted)
03 “How satisfied are you with the typical length of ABB Review articles?”
03 “How satisfied are you with the typical length of ABB Review articles?”
04 “How satisfied are you with the level of technical content in ABB Review articles?”
04 “How satisfied are you with the level of technical content in ABB Review articles?”
05 “Are you happy with the current frequency of publication (four per year) or would you prefer?”
05 “Are you happy with the current frequency of publication (four per year) or would you prefer?”

Digital versus print
The main method of print distribution remains personal subscription →06-09. The survey showed more readers reading digitally, although this finding may be skewed by the survey being online. There are also clearly many readers using both the print and digital editions.

06 “How do you receive your copy of ABB Review?”
(multiple responses permitted)
06 “How do you receive your copy of ABB Review?” (multiple responses permitted)
07 “How are you typically informed of the publication of a new edition?”
(multiple responses permitted)
07 “How are you typically informed of the publication of a new edition?” (multiple responses permitted)
08 “How do you receive ABB Review?”
08 “How do you receive ABB Review?”
09 “How do you prefer to obtain ABB Review?”
09 “How do you prefer to obtain ABB Review?”

Finally, the survey raised the topic of a “new, more interactive offering” of the digital version →10, and permitted readers to indicate what precisely they imagined such an offering might be. The favorite choice here was updated articles, followed by spotlights on topics and video content →11.

10 “New online ­offering: Would you be interested in a new, more interactive online offering of ABB Review?”
10 “New online ­offering: Would you be interested in a new, more interactive online offering of ABB Review?”
11 “New online offering: Which content and formats would be of particular interest to you?”
11 “New online offering: Which content and formats would be of particular interest to you?”

Participation matters
The staff of ABB Review would like to thank all readers who participated in this survey for taking time to share their opinions.

The findings of the survey are flowing into the editorial process, and first changes will be rolled out next year. These include an increased digital content, and also a streamlining of the languages offered. It is with great regret that ABB Review announces the discontinuation of the French and Spanish editions. This has become necessary due to the very low distribution numbers in these languages (in reality lower than the feedback from this survey suggests). As from issue 1/2023, ABB Review will be offered in English, German and Chinese only. The staff of ABB Review trust that as many readers as possible will continue to read and support ABB Review. 

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