The first opinion poll carried out with the readers of Pesquisa FAPESP produced very positive results. According to the survey, conducted by Instituto Datafolha, 99% of those who read the publication regard it as being highly satisfactory – 68% consider it excellent and 31%, good. Seventy per cent are part of the economically active population (PEA) and, out of these, 58% are teachers, while 20% are in management or are scientific researchers.
The average age of the readers is 47 and 39% have income greater than 10 minimum wages. These figures were gathered between July and September of last year, from 858 people, including paying subscribers, FAPESP’s subscribing customers (researchers and recipients of scholarships who are shown as “courtesy” in the following pages) and individuals who purchase the magazine at newsstands. The maximum margin of error for the entire sample was 3 percentage points, up or down.
The magazine’s texts are considered easy to read by 90% of those interviewed. The average score attributed to the publication is 9. When asked why they usually read the magazine, 96% mentioned the content, spontaneously citing, in this case, the diversity of topics in terms of areas of interest (34%), to keep themselves up to date (26%), the fact that the publication specializes in scientific topics (21%), the latest developments in terms of research (20%), and coverage of domestic topics (18%), among others.
Just 17% said that they had been reading the magazine for less than a year, while 31% of those interviewed said that they had been reading it for more than seven years. Among the paying subscribers, 25% are aged between 16 and 25, and a further 25% are aged between 26 and 35. This is a younger audience than that of the subscribers who are directly linked to FAPESP, which is concentrated in the age bracket of 46 to 69 (27%) and that of those aged over 60 (29%). Although the average age is 47, the average among paying subscribers is lower: 39. The majority of readers have post-graduate qualifications (79%) and are men (59%). Eighty seven per cent of the readers are in Brazil’s Southeastern Region, and of these, 79% are in the State of Sao Paulo (see graphic).
The average household income of R$ 11 thousand indicates that the readers have significant purchasing power. In other words, the majority of readers are in the A and B classes. Forty-one per cent of them work in the public sector and 14% do nothing but study. All of them appear to connected to the internet – 90% have a notebook or netbook, 37% use smart phones, 17% use tablets and 66% have LCD or LED plasma screen TVs. A further 17% say that they intend to buy a tablet within the next six months. Among those who already have a degree or who are studying toward one, 42% are in the area of biomedical or biological sciences, 33% in the area of exact sciences and 21% in the humanities.
Datafolha also carried out qualitative research on Pesquisa FAPESP. This involved meetings with a number of groups of 7 to 10 readers, who anonymously gave their opinions and made suggestions about the magazine. For instance, in the case of the group made up of eight university students aged 20 to 25, who were all paying subscribers, the opinions on the publication ratified the quantitative research. They agreed that “the magazine does not impose a position and does not force an opinion upon the reader” and “shows that Brazil can carry out high quality research.” One of the students, who is not yet anywhere near the area in which he would like to work, highlighted the closeness with the science generated by the articles. “Reading Pesquisa FAPESP is like you’re having contact with the scientists themselves. Since I am not yet actually with them, it’s like being connected to their ideas,” she said.
At another meeting, which this time consisted of six researchers aged 26 to 33, and one aged 56, the diversity of topics was emphasized. “I read so many scientific articles in my own particular field that when Pesquisa FAPESP arrives I am only interested in topics from other areas, in order to unwind,” commented one of the participants. All of them read the main scientific magazines in their own areas of study, but regard this as being work. Pesquisa FAPESP is looked upon as being a science publication, and is almost entertainment as far as they are concerned. “It’s what is known as productive idleness, it’s a kind of leisure that also informs,” was the assessment of one of them. However, when they read something that is of interest to their work, they go the primary sources, i.e., they look for the original articles mentioned in the report or get in touch with the author of the research.
The most experienced researcher in the group drew attention to another factor. She said she reads the magazine to check what sort of information from her own area of study reaches the reading public. “I like to see what is being filtered by the journalists who produce the magazine,” she explained.Republish