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Can Mendeley bookmarks reflect readership? A survey of user motivations

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  • Ehsan Mohammadi
  • Mike Thelwall
  • Kayvan Kousha

Abstract

Although Mendeley bookmarking counts appear to correlate moderately with conventional citation metrics, it is not known whether academic publications are bookmarked in Mendeley in order to be read or not. Without this information, it is not possible to give a confident interpretation of altmetrics derived from Mendeley. In response, a survey of 860 Mendeley users shows that it is reasonable to use Mendeley bookmarking counts as an indication of readership because most (55%) users with a Mendeley library had read or intended to read at least half of their bookmarked publications. This was true across all broad areas of scholarship except for the arts and humanities (42%). About 85% of the respondents also declared that they bookmarked articles in Mendeley to cite them in their publications, but some also bookmark articles for use in professional (50%), teaching (25%), and educational activities (13%). Of course, it is likely that most readers do not record articles in Mendeley and so these data do not represent all readers. In conclusion, Mendeley bookmark counts seem to be indicators of readership leading to a combination of scholarly impact and wider professional impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehsan Mohammadi & Mike Thelwall & Kayvan Kousha, 2016. "Can Mendeley bookmarks reflect readership? A survey of user motivations," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 67(5), pages 1198-1209, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jinfst:v:67:y:2016:i:5:p:1198-1209
    DOI: 10.1002/asi.23477
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Thelwall, Mike & Nevill, Tamara, 2018. "Could scientists use Altmetric.com scores to predict longer term citation counts?," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 237-248.
    5. Mike Thelwall, 2017. "Are Mendeley reader counts useful impact indicators in all fields?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 113(3), pages 1721-1731, December.
    6. Zhiqi Wang & Wolfgang Glänzel & Yue Chen, 2020. "The impact of preprints in Library and Information Science: an analysis of citations, usage and social attention indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 125(2), pages 1403-1423, November.
    7. Bornmann, Lutz & Haunschild, Robin, 2018. "Normalization of zero-inflated data: An empirical analysis of a new indicator family and its use with altmetrics data," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 998-1011.
    8. Drahomira Herrmannova & Robert M. Patton & Petr Knoth & Christopher G. Stahl, 2018. "Do citations and readership identify seminal publications?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(1), pages 239-262, April.
    9. Michael Thelwall, 2018. "Can Microsoft Academic be used for citation analysis of preprint archives? The case of the Social Science Research Network," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(2), pages 913-928, May.
    10. Mike Thelwall, 2018. "Early Mendeley readers correlate with later citation counts," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(3), pages 1231-1240, June.
    11. Mojisola Erdt & Aarthy Nagarajan & Sei-Ching Joanna Sin & Yin-Leng Theng, 2016. "Altmetrics: an analysis of the state-of-the-art in measuring research impact on social media," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(2), pages 1117-1166, November.
    12. Lutz Bornmann & Robin Haunschild, 2018. "Allegation of scientific misconduct increases Twitter attention," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(2), pages 1097-1100, May.
    13. Siluo Yang & Xin Xing & Dietmar Wolfram, 2018. "Difference in the impact of open-access papers published by China and the USA," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(2), pages 1017-1037, May.
    14. Thelwall, Mike, 2017. "Three practical field normalised alternative indicator formulae for research evaluation," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 128-151.
    15. Thelwall, Mike, 2018. "Do females create higher impact research? Scopus citations and Mendeley readers for articles from five countries," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 1031-1041.
    16. Mike Thelwall, 2018. "Differences between journals and years in the proportions of students, researchers and faculty registering Mendeley articles," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 115(2), pages 717-729, May.
    17. Zahedi, Zohreh & Haustein, Stefanie, 2018. "On the relationships between bibliographic characteristics of scientific documents and citation and Mendeley readership counts: A large-scale analysis of Web of Science publications," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 191-202.
    18. Kousha, Kayvan & Thelwall, Mike & Abdoli, Mahshid, 2018. "Can Microsoft Academic assess the early citation impact of in-press articles? A multi-discipline exploratory analysis," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 287-298.
    19. Amalia Mas-Bleda & Mike Thelwall, 2016. "Can alternative indicators overcome language biases in citation counts? A comparison of Spanish and UK research," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(3), pages 2007-2030, December.
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    21. Bornmann, Lutz & Haunschild, Robin, 2016. "Normalization of Mendeley reader impact on the reader- and paper-side: A comparison of the mean discipline normalized reader score (MDNRS) with the mean normalized reader score (MNRS) and bare reader ," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 776-788.

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