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Hospital doctors back medical journals

Use of the internet becoming more popular, according to results of HRS survey

Medical journals continue to play an important role in the working lives of senior hospital doctors, according to the results of the 2006 Hospital Readership Survey (HRS), the annual barometer of doctors' reading habits.

The annual survey was sent out to nearly 45,000 senior hospital doctors across 28 different specialties.

When asked which of a range of sources they considered useful in their work, doctors across all specialties scored medical journals highest on overall usefulness, followed by conferences.

However, there was large variation between specialties; doctors working in dermatology were the most prolific journal readers, reading on average 3 specialist publications, whereas at the other end of the scale, doctors working in cardio-thoracic surgery said they read well under one journal on average.

The survey found that individual journals were very well read; the top average issue readership (AIR) score within specialty was 86 per cent with more than 35 journals achieving AIR scores of over 50 per cent.

Medical journal websites were also deemed a popular source of information, performing a complementary role to journals. In fact, 58 per cent of doctors gave 'accessing medical journal websites' as their primary reason for using the internet in the past four weeks, followed by reading/downloading research papers (55 per cent).

The HRS is an independently run and managed joint industry initiative sponsored by 12 publishers and 5 media buyers.

30th September 2008

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