Given the likelihood that a publisher will not be willing to offer complete access to all the phases of the gatekeeping process, the researcher has to consider other means of getting some insight into the gatekeeping process. The following are a few possibilities:
The researcher can try to contact the individuals concerned in the process, both the authors and the members of the publishing company staff. A survey of authors and/or members of the editorial staff is one method, though the response rate is likely to be low. in a survey that we conducted among 604 comics artists and illustrators in Belgium (Lefevre and Di Salvia 2011), 263 filled in the questionnaire: 191 out of 421 on the French-speaking side (45.3 %) and 72 out of 183 (over 39 %) on the Dutch-speaking side. In both language groups, over seven out of ten participants were between the ages of 25 and 44, so this age group was dis- proportionally represented. More participants of the younger generations filled out the survey, so the results of the survey may not be representative of older artists. The more established artists are, the less likely it is that they will participate in such a survey because they are less likely to experience any gain (foremost on a financial level) resulting from such a survey. Young debut artists, on the other hand, may hope that such a survey can help to improve their mostly fragile working conditions.