One trend that is relevant to online scientific publishing is the relative robustness of the general readership for printed newspapers. While I am not aware of any data surveying the preference of scientists for online journal articles versus their printed counterparts, the prevalence of readership for printed newspapers is a tightly monitored metrics. Today’s Wall Street Journal (WSJ) continues yet another article describing the steady and seemingly inexorable erosion in print readership. Thus the WSJ stated that “average weekday circulation at 534 daily newspapers fell 3.6% for the six months ended March 31, compared with the year-earlier period.” Some notable declines included the New York Times (-3.85%), the Washington Post (-3.57%), and the Chicago Tribune (-4.44%). My informal conversations with scientific colleagues suggest that online journal readership has also increasingly supplanted print readership.
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