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Volume 1, Number 1
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Maryland Marine Notes Reader Survey

cover of an issue of Marine Notes As we distribute this first issue of Chesapeake Quarterly, we'd like to take a moment to speak about Maryland Marine Notes, the publication it replaces. We mailed a survey a few months ago to our readers to ask for feedback about what was valuable and what needed improving, and to help us as we planned our new publication. Out of some 4,300 readers, 730 responded with praise, helpful criticism, and encouragement to continue doing what we were already doing. Their responses are summarized below.

Fifty-one percent of those who responded had received Marine Notes for more than five years; 44% had received it between one and five years. They represented a wide range of interests and fields: 25% government agency, 19% university/ research, 17% interested citizen, 9% environmental issues and 6% or less in each of several fields, including education (K-12 and college), recreational boating, consulting, non-governmental organization, commercial fishing, seafood industry, marina industry and news media.

Ninety-four percent thought articles were about right, while 3% thought they were too technical/detailed and another 3% thought they were too superficial/vague. Readers indicated that they used Marine Notes in several different ways: 40% for keeping up with Bay science, 22% share them with others, 19% use them for research/background, 10% for teaching and 9% for management. Fifty-four percent rated the periodical overall very good, 35% excellent, 10% good and 1% average.

The topics respondents said they would find most useful in future issues, in order of most interested to least, were: commercial fishing, social and cultural issues, new publications, education, aquaculture, environmental issues, marine research, environmental research, and policy and management.

When asked if they accessed Marine Notes online, 80% said no, 17% said they hadn't and 3% said it didn't apply to them. Eighty percent said they preferred to receive a print copy and 20% said they'd prefer to receive an e-mail notice and read it online.

Among the many suggestions were that we improve the quality of our photographs, provide more web links and educational activities, expand its size so it is more like a scientific journal, and include more information about aquaculture in Maryland. The overwhelming consensus in the written comments was that we were doing a great job and should keep up the good work.

Thanks to all those who responded. We'll try to use well the advice you gave us in future issues of Chesapeake Quarterly.

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