Here are the complete results from our 2005 survey. You must be an ASBPE member to access this information.

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Methodology

Some 360 B-to-B magazines have ASBPE members. The survey invitation was sent via SurveyMonkey to each magazine’s highest-ranking editorial staff member who belongs to ASBPE. Responses came from 157 members (representing 157 magazines), a 43.6% response rate to a long, 39-question, online survey. While the results of this survey are not valid for the entire population of B2B editors, they offer a solid picture of what ASBPE members feel.

1. What type of magazine do you work on?
Response Percent Response Total
For profit
81.5% 128
Non-profit
18.5% 29
Total Respondents 157
(skipped this question) 0
2. What is your job title? (please check the position that most closely represents your work or title)
Response Percent Response Total
Editor (any level)
73.9% 116
Editor/Publisher or Editor/Assoc. Publisher
10.8% 17
Publisher
1.9% 3
Vice President/Director of Communications or Publications
5.7% 9
Other (please specify)
7.6% 12
Total Respondents 157
(skipped this question) 0
3. Which of the following best describes your magazine’s market?
Response Percent Response Total
Business
31.8% 50
Industrial
7% 11
Retail
6.4% 10
Technical
8.9% 14
Trade
34.4% 54
Other (please specify)
11.5% 18
Total Respondents 157
(skipped this question) 0
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4. Does your MAGAZINE or COMPANY/ORGANIZATION have an editorial code of ethics?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes, Magazine only
8.3% 13
Yes, Company/Organization only
24.2% 38
Yes, both Magazine and Company/Organization
26.1% 41
No, neither Magazine nor Company/Organization
33.8% 53
Don’t Know
7.6% 12
Total Respondents 157
(skipped this question) 0
5. Does your Magazine or Company/Organization have a formal or informal code of ethics?
Response Percent Response Total
Formal (officially adopted by your magazine or company/organization).
37.2% 58
Informal (not officially adopted but have an “ethical editorial environment”).
42.3% 66
Neither
9% 14
Other/Comments (please specify)
11.5% 18
Total Respondents 156
(skipped this question) 1
6. If NEITHER your Magazine nor your Company/Organization has an editorial code of ethics, why not?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
41
(skipped this question) 116
7. Do you feel it is important to have an editorial code of ethics?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
92.4% 145
No
1.9% 3
Not Sure
5.7% 9
Total Respondents 157
(skipped this question) 0
8. Referring to Question 7 above, why?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
137
(skipped this question) 20
9. WHETHER YOU HAVE A CODE OF ETHICS OR NOT, what provisions would you like to see in such a code?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
119
(skipped this question) 38
10. Should an ethics code primarily 1) be a general statement of principles, or 2) take a stand on specific issues, such as, but not limited to, acceptance of gifts from sources or advertisers?
Response Percent Response Total
Primarily a general statement of principles.
14.1% 22
Primarily specific rules.
3.2% 5
Both a general statement of principles and specific rules.
82.7% 129
Total Respondents 156
(skipped this question) 1
11. If you DO have an editorial code of ethics, do you feel your Company/Organization “backs you up” or “buys into” having the code?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
64.1% 66
No
3.9% 4
Sometimes
32% 33
Total Respondents 103
(skipped this question) 54
12. Please explain your answer to Question 11 above.
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
74
(skipped this question) 83
13. If you do NOT have an editorial code of ethics, do you feel your Company/Organization “backs you up” or “buys into” having an “ethical editorial environment”?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
53.1% 43
No
0% 0
Sometimes
46.9% 38
Total Respondents 81
(skipped this question) 76
14. Please explain your answer to Question 13 above.
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
54
(skipped this question) 103
15. If you do NOT have an editorial code of ethics or ethical editorial environment, WHAT MIGHT IT TAKE TO GET your Magazine or Company/Organization to “back you up” or “buy into” having a code or “ethical editorial environment”?
 Total Respondents  
39
(skipped this question) 118
16. If either your Magazine or your Company/Organization DOES have a code of ethics, who worked on its DEVELOPMENT? (Check all that apply.)
Response Percent Response Total
Editorial staff (including editorial director)
52.4% 55
Publisher (the individual)
31.4% 33
Sales force
6.7% 7
Organization executives (e.g., President, Executive Director, Board of Directors, Publications Director)
42.9% 45
Don’t Know
23.8% 25
Other (please specify)
16.2% 17
Total Respondents 105
(skipped this question) 52
17. If either your Magazine or your Company/Organization DOES have a code of ethics, did you rely on any of the following organization’s code as a TEMPLATE FOR DEVELOPMENT? (Check all that apply.)
Response Percent Response Total
Yes, American Business Media (ABM)
26% 27
Yes, American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE)
30.8% 32
Yes, American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME)
25% 26
Yes, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
8.7% 9
We relied totally on ourselves
13.5% 14
Don’t know
31.7% 33
Other (please specify)
12.5% 13
Total Respondents 104
(skipped this question) 53
18. If you used any of the following codes, please rate their USEFULNESS.
American Business Media (ABM) American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Response Average
Very Useful
17% (8) 43% (20) 26% (12) 13% (6) 2.35
Useful
23% (13) 38% (21) 23% (13) 16% (9) 2.32
Somewhat Useful
17% (4) 42% (10) 29% (7) 12% (3) 2.38
Not Very Useful
57% (4) 14% (1) 29% (2) 0% (0) 1.71
Not Aware or Very Much Aware of It
25% (6) 12% (3) 17% (4) 46% (11) 2.83
Total Respondents 76
(skipped this question) 81
19. Who was involved in APPROVING the FINAL code of ethics that was developed for your magazine’s use (check all that apply)?
Response Percent Response Total
Editorial staff (including editorial director)
43.6% 44
Publisher (the individual)
25.7% 26
Sales force
4% 4
Organization executives (e,g, President, Executive Director, Board of Directors, Publications Director)
39.6% 40
Don’t know
26.7% 27
Other (please specify)
10.9% 11
Total Respondents 101
(skipped this question) 56
20. Does your Magazine or Company/Organization PUBLISH YOUR CODE of ethics, or other ethical principles, for your readers to see? Do you have “transparency”?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
12.6% 14
No
84.7% 94
If “Yes,” where? If “No,” why not?
36.9% 41
Total Respondents 111
(skipped this question) 46
21. Have you ever been aware of any member of your EDITORIAL STAFF being UNETHICAL?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
22.4% 34
No
77.6% 118
Total Respondents 152
(skipped this question) 5
22. Have you ever been aware of your PUBLISHER (the person) being UNETHICAL?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
19% 29
No
81% 124
Total Respondents 153
(skipped this question) 4
23. Have you ever been aware of any member of your SALES STAFF being UNETHICAL?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
39.2% 60
No
60.8% 93
Total Respondents 153
(skipped this question) 4
24. Have you ever been aware of any of your OTHER TOP ORGANIZATION EXECUTIVES (e.g. CEO, President, Board, Exec. VP, Exec. Director) being UNETHICAL?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
18.8% 29
No
81.2% 125
Total Respondents 154
(skipped this question) 3
25. What ethical provisions do you feel are breached the most? By what job titles? Why do you think this is so?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
91
(skipped this question) 66
26. In general, if an ethics issue arises, how do you determine if an ethics violation has occurred?
Response Percent Response Total
Formal Process
11.9% 16
Informal Process
76.9% 103
Other
11.2% 15
Total Respondents 134
(skipped this question) 23
27. If an ethics issue arises, please explain your process to determine whether an ethical violation has occurred.
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
91
(skipped this question) 66
28. Are there consequences or enforcement mechanisms built into your ethical code or your Magazine, or Company/Organization environment?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
30% 42
No
42.9% 60
Don’t Know
27.1% 38
Total Respondents 140
(skipped this question) 17
29. If there are consequences or enforcement mechanisms, what might they be?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
42
(skipped this question) 115
30. Has your Magazine or Company/Organization code or ethical principles ever been enforced?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
37.1% 49
No
17.4% 23
Don’t Know
45.5% 60
Total Respondents 132
(skipped this question) 25
31. If your Magazine or Company/Organization code or ethical principles was NOT FOLLOWED but WAS ENFORCED, what happened?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
38
(skipped this question) 119
32. If your Magazine or Company/Organization code or ethical principles was NOT FOLLOWED and WAS NOT ENFORCED, why not?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
17
(skipped this question) 140
33. Does your code of ethics or “ethical editorial environment” also apply to your Web site, blogs, or e-newsletters? (check all that apply)
Response Percent Response Total
Yes, Web Site
84.5% 109
Yes, Blogs
24% 31
Yes, E-Newsletters
65.1% 84
None of the above
10.9% 14
Yes, Other (please specify)
5.4% 7
Total Respondents 129
(skipped this question) 28
34. If your code of ethics or “ethical editorial environment” DOES NOT also apply to your Web site, blogs, or e-newsletters, which ones does it not apply to and why?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
17
(skipped this question) 140
35. Is your Magazine or Company/Organization updating or creating a new code of ethics?
Response Percent Response Total
Updating
11.4% 16
Creating a New Code
2.9% 4
No/Don’t Know/Not Sure
85.7% 120
Total Respondents 140
(skipped this question) 17
36. If you answered “Updating” to Question 35 above, in what ways are you updating your code?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
13
(skipped this question) 144
37. What are your other thoughts about codes of ethics for B2B magazines?
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
59
(skipped this question) 98
38. If you have a code that you use, would you be kind enough to forward it to info@asbpe.org?
Response Percent Response Total
Yes
23.9% 16
No
41.8% 28
Maybe
34.3% 23
Total Respondents 67
(skipped this question) 90
39. If you would be willing to talk more about ethics issues, please provide your name, job title, magazine name, phone number and email address below. This information will remain confidential.
See detailed answers to this and other open-ended questions (187K PDF).
 Total Respondents  
21
(skipped this question) 136

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