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January 1989

Reprint RequestsHow and Why They Were Made

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Calgary, Alberta Children's Hospital, Canada.

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(1):121-123. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150130131034

• Of the 457 reprint requests that I received over a two-year period, 432 (94.5%) came in the form of preprinted postcards and the remainder came in the form of letters. Only 235 (51.4%) were signed. There were 450 (98.5%) requests for one copy of the article and seven (1.5%) requests for more than one copy. Three hundred ninety-five (86.4%) requests were for one article, and 62 (13.6%) requests were also for any other previous articles on the subject. None of the reprint requests arrived with a self-addressed stamped envelope. One hundred twenty-seven (27.8%) requests came with a return address stick-on label. Most reprint requests were in English and came from the United States and countries in eastern Europe. A questionnaire was sent to each of the 457 persons who requested a reprint to determine how and why the request was made. There were 259(56.7%) replies available for analysis. One hundred ninety-three (74.5%) reprint requests were made by the individuals requesting the reprint and 59 (22.8%) were made by their secretaries. The majority (81.1%) learned about the article and address from Current Contents. Forty-four (17%) had read the article (or abstract) before the reprint request was made. The two most common reasons given for the request were the unavailability of the journal and the high quality of the reprint. Two hundred fifty-six (98.8%) of the persons requesting reprints found them very useful.

(AJDC 1989;143:121-123)