Reading practices in scholarly work: from articles and books to blogs

Authors : Elina Late, Carol Tenopir, Sanna Talja, Lisa Christian

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of reading in scholarly work among academics in Finland. This study analyzes readings from a variety of publication types including books, conference proceedings, research reports, magazines, newspapers, blogs, non-fiction and fiction.

An online survey was developed and distributed in Finland in 2016–2017 (n=528). Participants were asked their finding and use of scholarly information resources of all types.

Scholars read from a variety of publications. Different types of publications are read and used differently. Reading also varies between disciplines, ranks, work responsibilities and type of research performed.

Research limitations/implications

The study was a nationwide study of researchers in Finland; therefore, all findings are within the context of researchers in a single country. All results are self-reported; therefore, the authors assume but cannot be sure that respondents accurately recollect the specifics of their use of scholarly information.

The results of this study are relevant to publishers, research librarians, editors and others who serve consumers of scholarly information resources, design information products and services for those scholars, and seek to better understand the information needs and use of a variety of types of scholarly publications.

This study replicates previous studies in a variety of countries and provides a more up-to-date and single-country contextualized overview of how researchers find and use scholarly information in their work.