Readers’ perceptions of the Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care: A cross-sectional study

Rhona Macdonald, Malcolm Boyle

Abstract


Introduction

The Journal of Emergency Primary Health Care (JEPHC) is a subscription free, peerreviewed online publication, intended to promote the publication of emergency primary health care research covering original studies, editorials and reviews. Data collected from annual surveys have been utilised since 2003 to provide the journal’s Editorial Team and Management Committee with readers’ preferences and perceptions of the journal in relation to planning and development of quality standards and content appropriate to the journal’s readership. This study provides a comparative analysis of survey results from the 2004 and 2006 surveys. The objective of this study was to provide the journal’s Editorial Team and Management Committee with results from the survey to assist future planning.

Methods

A cross-sectional methodology based on data collected from questionnaire surveys utilised in 2004 and 2006, was used to solicit the views and content requirements of visitors to JEPHC. Data collected from all survey responses (n=100 in 2006 and n=44 in 2004) was intended to provide a snapshot of the journal’s readership in relation to professional status, content preferences and usefulness of editorial standards as means of supporting research needs, and encouraging future research content. As this article evaluates and reports the results of a quality audit, ethics approval was not required.

Results

The majority of respondents from both surveys were identified mainly as paramedics, while remaining respondents represented a cross section of other health professionals, educators and researchers. Reasons given by most respondents for visiting JEPHC were to locate peerreviewed articles and case histories relevant to clinical practice. Most respondents rated JEPHC equally with other peer-reviewed journals. The majority of respondents (86%) indicated that they would consider writing for the journal, while 50% of those who indicated that they would not, expressed a lack of skills, motivation or knowledge as being the main reasons. Less than 50% of respondents in the 2006 survey indicated that they knew about the Journal Impact Factor or its usefulness to research.

Conclusion

As the majority of respondents in both surveys were identified mainly as paramedics, results from the study cannot be generalised to the wider population of emergency primary health care professionals. The large difference in sample sizes between the 2004 and 2006 surveys renders inferential statistics relating to quality, as problematic. Identification and consistency of content that is of most interest to readers is evident in both surveys. However, to more accurately determine relevance and quality of content, and the significance of publishing standards which are representative of the journal’s wider readership, modification of the survey design and/or setting may be required to attract a higher response rate in future surveys.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.33151/ajp.4.4.393

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