The State of Print and Electronic Publications in Higher Ed – 2010 Survey Results

December 16th, 2010 Karine Joly 4 Comments

A total of 262 professionals (vs 198 in 2009 and 218 in 2007) working in universities and colleges completed this online survey about the state of print and electronic publications in higher education from October 7 to 22, 2010. The survey was completed by people working in marketing/communications (72%), web (9.5%) and other offices.

Here are some of the main results:

  • 69% of print budgets are frozen as well as 47% of electronic budgets.
  • 94% of survey respondents (vs 82% in 2009 and 77% in 2007) state that their institutions are relying more on electronic publications (Web, blog, email, PDF, RSS, etc) for a set of different reasons (budget, audience preferences, innovation, environment, etc.)
  • While many publications produced by surveyed institutions are primarily available in both print and electronic formats, there is a significant trend across most publications to have them in electronic format only.
    • The main publication types showing this trend are: Course Schedule (70%), Event Calendar (68%), Newsletter (65%), Magazine / Newsletter for Parents (62%) and Campus News (61%).
    • Viewbook (49% print only) remains the only publication primarily available in print only. The Admission/Search Brochure (33%), the Admissions Magazine (32%) and the Annual Report (26%) also show significant print only percentages.
  • More than three quarters of the survey respondents think most of the publications can be replaced by electronic versions at the exception of viewbooks, admissions brochures, magazines and fundraising materials.

You can download the 6-page PDF executive summary including information about the sample, more data and charts.

In November 2010, I gave a presentation about these results at the national CASE Conference for Publication Professionals in New Orleans.

4 Responses

  1. Thank you, Karine, for pulling this valuable information together. I always appreciate having this data to share with others on our campus.

  2. cksyme says:

    Has anyone seen any good electronic viewbook examples out there that include video and interactive features? Please email me links at Thanks.

  3. Karine Joly says:

    You’re welcome, Andy!

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