Charleston conference: To boldly go beyond downloads: how are journal articles shared and used?

– Babe Hughes, Elsevier rep who is also on the Mendeley team; had previously bed at Google for head of attribution
– downloads has been best proxy for reading behavior, but technology changes are providing other opportunities
– 65% of researchers access or share articles via shared platform or folder
– 48% shared with working group, 21% dept
– easy access is biggest reason for sharing and motivates behavior (remote access problems)
– things like Mendeley are lower on the list of tools, but Dropbox is higher
– sharing happens on many levels: to self, to small group, to dept, to public
– Dr. Carol Tanopir – expert on academic usage behavior – conducting independent research (will complete next year)
– COUNTER downloads don’t account for sharing after downloads or sharing without downloads
– formal methods for sharing include Blackboard, RefWorks, Dropbox – these are used because they fit the normal workflow of researchers
– informal methods are part of a life, like FB, Twitter, email, etc – basically items not solely focused
3 pronged project
– interview/focus groups in US and UK, international survey
– 2 main types of sharing: sharing citation/link or sharing document (PDF)
– link sharing more common – could increase published downloads, but not library downloads
– focus groups – those that share also upload their own work to IRs
– motivations to share: to further discovery, to promote work
– “bootleg” sharing via email, ppl know that they maybe they shouldn’t do this, but do it anyhow
– Dropbox, Twitter, and email are top 3 for sharing with collaborators
– share with lots of folks for many different reasons
– almost all viewed sharing their own work positively
– sharing others work altruistically, trumping questions of discomfort of ethics
– some reservations about sharing
– format distinction for books vs articles since the books have monetary value/motivation for authors
– over 500 responses in 2 days with survey so far
– goal: develop calculator for downloads and life beyond, and determining value


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