A survey revealed researchers’ willingness to use e-mail and submit journal papers electronically

The journal staff at the RSC in Cambridge has received many enquiries from authors on the subject of submitting papers on disk. All the RSC’s journals are currently presented to typesetters as standard marked-up manuscripts, which are conventionally typeset using a variety of typesetters with different equipment. In 1989, the RSC sent a questionnaire to 1000 authors to gain more information on author attitudes and equipment. About 500 replies indicated that:

- 85% of authors used PCs and associated word-processing software to prepare papers for RSC journals.

- 61% would be willing to submit papers on disk.

- 45% would be willing to use electronic mail.

- Three main types of computer were used by respondents – IBM PCs and compatibles (43%); Apple Macintoshes (26%) and NEC 9800 series (15% overall, but 73% of Japanese respondents).

- Over 20 word-processing software packages were mentioned – especially Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, WordStar and MacWrite.

- 67% of Macintosh owners used ChemDraw for chemical structure input.

- These results were very similar to those from an earlier survey undertaken by the American Chemical Society in 1987.

Many problems remain to be considered before implementation of disk submission of papers to the RSC – especially graphics, tables and mathematical and other special characters – but the RSC has been encouraged by the survey to conduct an extended experiment to identify the problems and solutions at a more detailed level.

Chemistry in Britain (April 1991)