How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications

This report is the output of a large-scale survey of readers of scholarly publications (n=40439) and their behaviour in the discovery of journal articles and online books. The survey was conducted during October, November, and December of 2015.

While usage statistics and analytics gathered by publishers, libraries and intermediaries can give us a partial view of discovery behaviour, there are many gaps in the knowledge that these can provide which we have endeavoured to fill by asking readers what tools they use in discovery.

This survey builds upon previous surveys conducted by the authors in 2005, 2008 and 2012.

URL : How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Publications

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Open Access Meets Discoverability: Citations to Articles Posted to

Using matching and regression analyses, we measure the difference in citations between articles posted to and other articles from similar journals, controlling for field, impact factor, and other variables. Based on a sample size of 31,216 papers, we find that a paper in a median impact factor journal uploaded to receives 16% more citations after one year than a similar article not available online, 51% more citations after three years, and 69% after five years. We also found that articles also posted to had 58% more citations than articles only posted to other online venues, such as personal and departmental home pages, after five years.

URL : Open Access Meets Discoverability: Citations to Articles Posted to

DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0148257

Open Access and Discovery Tools: How do Primo Libraries Manage Green Open Access Collections?

The Open Access (OA) movement gains more and more momentum with an increasing number of institutions and funders adopting OA mandates for publicly funded research. Consequently, an increasing amount of research output becomes freely available, either from institutional, multi-institutional or thematic repositories or from traditional or newly established journals.

Currently, there are more than 2,700 Open Access repositories (Green Open Access) of all kinds listed on OpenDOAR. Scholarly OA repositories contain lots of treasures including rare or otherwise unpublished materials and articles that scholars self-archive, often as part of their institution’s mandate. But it can be hard to discover this material unless users know exactly where to look.

Since the very beginning, libraries have played a major role in supporting the OA movement. Next to all services they can provide to support the deposit of research output in the repositories, they can make Open Access materials widely discoverable by their patrons through general search engines (Google, Bing…), specialized search engines (like Google Scholar) and library discovery tools, thus expanding their collection to include materials that they would not necessarily pay for.

In this paper, we intend to focus on two aspects regarding Open Access and Primo discovery tool.

In early 2013, Ex Libris Group started to add institutional repositories to Primo Central Index (PCI), their mega-aggregation of hundreds of millions of scholarly e-resources (journal articles, e-books, reviews, dissertations, legal documents, reports…). After two years, it may be interesting to take stock of the current situation of PCI regarding Open Access repositories. This paper will analyze their progressive integration into PCI, the numbers of references, the resource types, the countries of origin…

On basis of a survey to carry out among the Primo community, the paper will also focus on how libraries using Primo discovery tool integrate Green Open Access contents in their catalog. Two major ways are possible for them. Firstly, they can directly harvest, index and manage any repository ‒their own or any from another institution‒ in their Primo and display those free contents next to the more traditional library collections. Secondly, if they are Primo Central Index subscribers, they can quickly and easily activate any, if not all, of the Open Access repositories contained PCI, making thus the contents of those directly discoverable to their end users.

This paper shows what way is preferred by libraries, if they harvest or not their own repository (even if it is included in PCI) and suggests efforts that Ex Libris could take to improve the visibility and discoverability of OA materials included in the “Institutional Repositories” section of PCI.


Toward Improved Discoverability of Scholarly Content: Cross-Sector Collaboration Essentials

« By way of follow-up to earlier work in understanding and improving discoverability of scholarly content, this article reports on recent data and reflections that led to clearer definitions of discovery and discover-ability, as well as deeper cross-sector collaborations on standards, transparency, metadata, and new forms of partnerships. Recent advances in discoverability are also described – from enhanced library-based web-scale searching to serving researcher needs through the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) registry. The article points to a 2014 SAGE white paper that presents in greater detail opportunities for wider collaboration among libraries, publishers, service providers, and researchers in the interest of furthering discovery, access, and usage of scholarly writings and creative work. »

URL : Toward Improved Discoverability of Scholarly Content

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Collaborative Improvements in the Discoverability of Scholarly Content…

Collaborative Improvements in the Discoverability of Scholarly Content : Accomplishments, Aspirations,
and Opportunities

« The life cycle of academic works is supported by extensive cross-sector collaboration throughout the scholarly communications ecosystem. In recent years, traditional codes of practice have been disturbed. In response, in 2012, SAGE published a white paper that offered conversation starters for reinventing conventions and relationships among libraries, publishers, and service providers. To carry on the investigation of the first white paper, Improving Discoverability of Scholarly Content in the Twentieth Century: Collaboration Opportunities for Librarians, Publishers, and Vendors, this paper explores the latest accomplishments, aspirations, opportunities, and challenges for improved discoverability of scholarly content. As the discovery landscape is rapidly shifting, this paper demonstrates that progress continues to depend on core principles of cross-sector collaboration, taking the form of these actionable recommendations for anyone in scholarly communications:
•Standards: When relevant, all sectors should participate in ratified standards to ensure that cooperation is part of business-as-usual routines.
•Transparency: Standards compliance is critical for successful discovery, and the development, implementation, and enforcement of these standards require open relationships across the industry
focused on reaching our shared goals.
•Metadata: Quality metadata, observing ratified standards, enables successful discovery of scholarly
content, products, and services.
•Partnerships: Opportunities exist for new discovery innovations across the industry, such as linked open data and cross-publisher discovery tools. »


Do developing countries profit from free books Discovery…

Do developing countries profit from free books? Discovery and online usage in developed and developing countries compared :

« For years, Open Access has been seen as a way to remove barriers to research in developing countries. In order to test this, an experiment was conducted to measure whether publishing academic books in Open Access has a positive effect on developing countries. During a period of nine months the usage data of 180 books was recorded. Of those, a set of 43 titles was used as control group with restricted access. The rest was made fully accessible.
The data shows the digital divide between developing countries and developed countries: 70 percent of the discovery data and 73 percent of online usage data come from developed countries. Using statistical analysis, the experiment confirms that Open Access publishing enhances discovery and online usage in developing countries. This strengthens the claims of the advocates of Open Access: researchers from the developing countries do benefit from free academic books. »


Facilitating access to free online resources: challenges and opportunities for the library community

The volume of online content continues to grow exponentially, and much of it is freely available. Some of this content is of potentially significant value for teaching, learning and research purposes. However, ‘free to access’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘easy to find’. Taylor & Francis have conducted a research programme to help explore the issues relating to free online content discoverability from the perspective of librarians.

Our research included several focus groups, teledepth interviews and an online survey ; which together have helped build a picture of the challenges associated with surfacing free online content within an institution for educational and research purposes