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Research Newsletter-Spring/Summer 2007

The Linus Pauling Institute Survey

A little more than one year ago, LPI completed the analysis of its first demographic survey. The Institute had never before made a systematic survey of its constituency, and we were curious and excited to learn more about our donors and newsletter readers.

To help us conduct a scientific survey, we engaged Dr. Virginia Lesser, Associate Professor of Statistics and Director of the Survey Research Center (SRC) at Oregon State University. For its clients, the SRC designs, administers, and analyzes surveys. For the LPI survey, the SRC selected a random sample of about half the people on LPI's mailing list. About 30% of the mailed survey questionnaires were completed and returned. The data that follows are based on those responses and are reasonably representative of LPI's constituents.

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Increasingly, people become acquainted with LPI through Internet searching that often links to sections on the Micronutrient Information Center (MIC) or to the biography of Linus Pauling on our Web site. Other analyses indicate that the LPI Web site has over 900,000 "hits" (visits of very short length) and about 130,000 "sessions" (visits of longer duration) every month. Almost three-quarters of these online visits are to the MIC. These figures have increased substantially over the last few years. A search using the Internet search engine Google with the keywords "Linus Pauling" returns over 1,800,000 links to Web pages in which the term "Linus Pauling" appears. The first Web page on that long list is the biography of Linus Pauling posted on the LPI Web site. Similarly, a search for "vitamins" returns over 76,000,000 Web pages, with LPI at the number seven position.

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Of the respondents who have been receiving information about LPI for over five years, most learned about LPI through a book or article by or about Linus Pauling. Of the respondents who have received information about LPI for under five years, about one-third learned about LPI through the Internet, demonstrating the increasing power of the Web to inform.

We think that the results of the survey indicate that our public outreach programs are successful. Almost everyone who uses the online Micronutrient Information Center finds it useful, and the Research Newsletter appears to be understandable, informative, and interesting to its readers. Please contact us with any suggestions for ways to improve the educational services that we offer.

Last updated May 2007