Science Highlight




ALMA Cycle 3 user survey

The fourth ALMA user survey was conducted between the 1st of May and the 1st of June 2015. A total of 536 users (representing 15% of the users who were sent the questionnaire and 44% of the Cycle 3 PIs) responded to the survey. This survey focused on topics related to proposal preparation and submission, including the interaction with the ARC/ARC nodes for ALMA proposal preparation or the usability of tools such as the ALMA science portal or the helpdesk.

Overall, the users showed a relatively high level of satisfaction. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being best and 5 being worst), the overall satisfaction across all ALMA regions was rated better than 2.5 for all the topics. The highest rate was given to the ARC/ARC nodes support for proposal preparation, with an average rate of 1.27, followed by the helpdesk response time and usability with rates of 1.75 and 1.77, respectively. On the other side, the lowest rate was given to the usefulness of the OT template library and the easiness to find information in the science portal, with average rates of 2.5. A summary of the average and median rates for each topic is shown below (note that the scale is 0.5 to 4.5 in the table for plotting purposes). A more extensive report of the results is available to interested users upon request.

In addition to the overall ratings the users provided numerous comments related to the tools used for proposal preparation and submission. These comments are currently undergoing analysis and will be taken into account to improve the tools and procedures in future cycles.

The ALMA observatory sincerely thanks all users that took the time to answer this survey and provide valuable comments.