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Differences between journals and years in the proportions of students, researchers and faculty registering Mendeley articles

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  • Mike Thelwall

    () (University of Wolverhampton)

Abstract

This article contains two investigations into Mendeley reader counts with the same dataset. Mendeley reader counts provide evidence of early scholarly impact for journal articles, but reflect the reading of a relatively young subset of all researchers. To investigate whether this age bias is constant or varies by narrow field and publication year, this article compares the proportions of student, researcher and faculty readers for articles published 1996–2016 in 36 large monodisciplinary journals. In these journals, undergraduates recorded the newest research and faculty the oldest, with large differences between journals. The existence of substantial differences in the composition of readers between related fields points to the need for caution when using Mendeley readers as substitutes for citations for broad fields. The second investigation shows, with the same data, that there are substantial differences between narrow fields in the time taken for Scopus citations to be as numerous as Mendeley readers. Thus, even narrow field differences can impact on the relative value of Mendeley compared to citation counts.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:scient:v:115:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-018-2689-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s11192-018-2689-7
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michel Zitt, 2012. "The journal impact factor: angel, devil, or scapegoat? A comment on J.K. Vanclay’s article 2011," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 92(2), pages 485-503, August.
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    4. Mike Thelwall & Nabeil Maflahi, 2015. "Are scholarly articles disproportionately read in their own country? An analysis of mendeley readers," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 66(6), pages 1124-1135, June.
    5. Thelwall, Mike, 2017. "Three practical field normalised alternative indicator formulae for research evaluation," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 128-151.
    6. Mike Thelwall & Pardeep Sud, 2016. "Mendeley readership counts: An investigation of temporal and disciplinary differences," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 67(12), pages 3036-3050, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Mike Thelwall & Paul Wilson, 2016. "Mendeley readership altmetrics for medical articles: An analysis of 45 fields," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 67(8), pages 1962-1972, August.
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    10. Nabeil Maflahi & Mike Thelwall, 2016. "When are readership counts as useful as citation counts? Scopus versus Mendeley for LIS journals," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 67(1), pages 191-199, January.
    11. Mike Thelwall, 2016. "Interpreting correlations between citation counts and other indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(1), pages 337-347, July.
    12. Thelwall, Mike, 2016. "The precision of the arithmetic mean, geometric mean and percentiles for citation data: An experimental simulation modelling approach," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 110-123.
    13. Zoller, Daniel & Doerfel, Stephan & Jäschke, Robert & Stumme, Gerd & Hotho, Andreas, 2016. "Posted, visited, exported: Altmetrics in the social tagging system BibSonomy," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 732-749.
    14. Ehsan Mohammadi & Mike Thelwall & Stefanie Haustein & Vincent Larivière, 2015. "Who reads research articles? An altmetrics analysis of Mendeley user categories," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 66(9), pages 1832-1846, September.
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