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2004 Visitor Survey Results

American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS)
1444 I (Eye) Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 628-1500

For Immediate Release
16 February 2005

For more information, contact:
Oksana Hlodan, Editor,

Survey results reveal visitor satisfaction with content and ease of use

Washington, DC.—, the bilingual educational website of The American Institute of Biological Sciences, ran two online surveys, in English and Spanish, from mid-September to December 2004, to learn more about the site’s visitors, to gauge their satisfaction with content and usability, and to obtain preferences for future website articles.

Readers responded from around the world. Although the majority of respondents were Americans (53%), there were participants from Canada, Australia, Singapore, Turkey, Chile, Mexico, Brazil, China, United Kingdom, and many other places. Most visitors learned about through the recommendation of another website (28%) or a friend or colleague (21%), while others found it with a search engine (19%). The vast majority (90% English, 100% Spanish) rated the site’s content as excellent or good. Similarly, 99% of the English respondents and 100% of the Spanish respondents rated the site’s navigation as very or somewhat easy.

The profile of the English-language readers shows:

  • Many are educators (41%), but they also include the general public (23%), professional scientists (17%), and students (12%).
  • Many visit the site monthly (33%) or six times or less a year (36%), while a good number visit weekly or more frequently (17%).
  • The main reasons readers come to the site are to find specific topics of personal interest (17%), to search for general information (16%), or because the site focuses on bioscience issues (14%).
  • Readers are almost evenly divided as to the topics they prefer to read about, but evolution has the lead (17%).
  • The majority of readers are stimulated enough by reading articles to pursue more information on the article’s topic by clicking on the recommended links at the end of the article (90% always or sometimes click on links).

The section of the survey devoted to students reveals:

  • Most are graduate students (63%), though some are high school students (21%).
  • Students come to the site mainly on their own initiative (53%).
  • Students who read an article because it was assigned by their teachers (37%) find the articles very or somewhat helpful (80%).

Responses from educators show:

  • Many are high school teachers (35%), while others are undergraduate 2- or 4-year college (27%) and graduate-level institution (20%) instructors.
  • Most choose articles as assignments for their students (60%).
  • The majority agree that articles chosen for assignment benefited their students’ learning (76%).
  • The majority also take advantage of the original ready-to-go lessons offered on (60%), and most of them (85%) find these resources useful to their lesson planning.
  • Overall, educators who visit the site (a resounding 100%) find it useful to their teaching, and almost all (98%) find it useful to their professional development.

The Spanish-language survey participants indicated:

  • Educators (29%), students (25%), general public (21%), and professional scientists (17%) visit the site.
  • There is no single reason visitors come to; some come to read about topics of personal interest (19%), to find general information (18%), or because the site focuses on important issues (19%).
  • The vast majority of respondents (92%) say that they find the articles of interest and very or somewhat easy to read (92%).
  • Most would like to see a completely Hispanic version of (96%), with more articles by Hispanic authors (92%).
  • Many respondents teach undergraduate (40%) or high school (20%) students; all of them (100%) would like to see the site offer classroom lessons in the Spanish language.
  • Hispanic visitors prefer an almost even distribution of reading topics, for example, articles on biodiversity (22%), on the environment (18%), on biotechnology (17%), and on evolution (16%).

To request a copy of the survey results in pdf format, please send an email to Oksana Hlodan, at or

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