April 10, 2014 | Helen Gray, Publishing Editor

The Taylor & Francis author survey

What it is and how it can help your journal


The Taylor & Francis author survey is one of many initiatives that help us to maintain and constantly improve the service that we provide to our authors. It is sent out upon publication of each article to the corresponding author; this enables us to receive specific feedback on individual publication experiences, so that we are able to identify areas for improvement. The survey was rolled out across Taylor & Francis in the second half of 2008 after a pilot on a small group of journals, and over 1,000 journals now take part in the survey. In 2013 more than 1 in 5 authors completed our survey; however, we want to hear from as many of our authors as we can to make sure the results we receive are as representative of our authors as possible.

The author survey measures service satisfaction at all stages of publication, from choosing a journal, through peer review, production, and on to post-publication services. No stone is left unturned - systems and personal communication are scrutinized to ensure that we are serving our authors as well as possible. Authors clearly appreciate the chance to give their feedback – some comments relating to this point are given below:

The survey itself provides a good opportunity to learn about sharing information with peers, and promoting authors’ work.
Behavioral science author in the United States

This survey is a great chance for feedback on the process of submission and publication of our manuscripts. I support such feedback process in future.
Physical sciences author in Singapore

Great that you do this - shows that you actually do care about the processes and are keen to improve them.
Geography author in the United Kingdom

Also apparent from the comments is that the author survey provides an information service to our authors; many were unaware of the substantial rights they retain as authors, how they can promote their article to colleagues, and the opportunities for authors to enhance their researcher profile that Taylor & Francis support, for instance, ORCID:

I have learned a great deal from doing this questionnaire - about my rights as an author, about promoting my research, and about ORCID. I shall be following all of these things up. Thank you!
International relations author from the United Kingdom

The author survey allows us to identify areas of improvement for a journal that may not be obvious from individual author feedback alone. Some of these are production processes that we can promptly modify in-house; some are more complicated and help us to formulate a longer-term strategy with our editors.

From the latest author survey, we have found out the following:

  • Taylor & Francis scores consistently above our competitors on overall satisfaction.
  • Authors found the most important criteria in submitting a manuscript to a journal were the Aims and Scope, and that it serves the academic community in their subject area.
  • Our authors are extremely satisfied with the refereeing process overall, with an average rating of 8.4 out of 10.

The author survey is updated regularly to assess the impact of any new Taylor & Francis initiatives, or to reflect new developments in technology and the research community. For instance, social media is becoming increasingly important in academia, and Taylor & Francis has developed a number of initiatives to facilitate promotion of articles through these channels. One example of this is the 50 free article eprints for authors to disseminate. We began to incorporate questions about promoting articles via social media to better understand the mechanisms by which academics share their work, and ensure that our developments are of real benefit:

Good idea. The survey makes me aware of information on your web site that I have not explored yet. Congratulations!
Ph.D. student in educational studies in Belgium

It’s also great to see so many journals get involved. 60% of our society journals have opted in to the author survey – this ensures that the journals we publish on their behalf remain relevant to the research communities they serve.

If you are interested in finding out more about the author survey with respect to your journal, please contact your Publisher at Taylor & Francis/Routledge who will be happy to help.

Published: April 10, 2014 | Author: Helen Gray, Publishing Editor | Category: Front page, Managing my journal | Tagged with: