No scholar is an island: The impact of sharing in the work life of scholars

Authors : Carol Tenopir, Suzie Allard, Lisa Christian, Robert Anderson, Suzan Ali-Saleh, Dave Nicholas, Anthony Watkinson, Hazel Woodward

The sharing of scholarly articles is an intrinsic and often ignored facet of the value and mission of scholarship. It is so entwined in the daily work life of scholars that it has almost become second nature, an integral part of the research process itself.

This article addresses this often overlooked area of research in usage studies. In an international survey of 1,000 published scholars, the Beyond Downloads project examined their sharing behaviours in order to gain a more contextualized and accurate picture of their usage beyond download patterns and citation counts.

Scholars share published articles with others as a mode of content discovery and dissemination, particularly if they work in groups, and most expect to increase their sharing in the future.

While their methods of sharing articles may change, and their reasons for sharing may vary from self-promotion to the more altruistic motives of scientific progress, they desire to share the final published versions of articles with their colleagues.