Readership Data and Research Impact

Authors : Ehsan Mohammadi, Mike Thelwall

Reading academic publications is a key scholarly activity. Scholars accessing and recording academic publications online are producing new types of readership data. These include publisher, repository, and academic social network download statistics as well as online reference manager records.

This chapter discusses the use of download and reference manager data for research evaluation and library collection development. The focus is on the validity and application of readership data as an impact indicator for academic publications across different disciplines.

Mendeley is particularly promising in this regard, although all data sources are not subjected to rigorous quality control and can be manipulated.


Bibliogifts in LibGen? A study of a text-sharing platform driven by biblioleaks and crowdsourcing

Author : Guillaume Cabanac

Research articles disseminate the knowledge produced by the scientific community. Access to this literature is crucial for researchers and the general public. Apparently, “bibliogifts” are available online for free from text-sharing platforms.

However, little is known about such platforms. What is the size of the underlying digital libraries? What are the topics covered? Where do these documents originally come from? This article reports on a study of the Library Genesis platform (LibGen).

The 25 million documents (42 terabytes) it hosts and distributes for free are mostly research articles, textbooks, and books in English. The article collection stems from isolated, but massive, article uploads (71%) in line with a “biblioleaks” scenario, as well as from daily crowdsourcing (29%) by worldwide users of platforms such as Reddit Scholar and Sci-Hub.

By relating the DOIs registered at CrossRef and those cached at LibGen, this study reveals that 36% of all DOI articles are available for free at LibGen. This figure is even higher (68%) for three major publishers: Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley. More research is needed to understand to what extent researchers and the general public have recourse to such text-sharing platforms and why.


AUPress A Comparison of an Open Access University…

AUPress: A Comparison of an Open Access University Press with Traditional Presses :

“This study is a comparison of AUPress with three other traditional (non-open access) Canadian university presses. The analysis is based on the rankings that are correlated with book sales on and Statistical methods include the sampling of the sales ranking of randomly selected books from each press. The results of one-way ANOVA analyses show that there is no significant difference in the ranking of printed books sold by AUPress in comparison with traditional university presses. However, AUPress, can demonstrate a significantly larger readership for its books as evidenced by the number of downloads of the open electronic versions.”