School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

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There have been hundreds, perhaps thousands, of studies of journal reading by professionals in such fields as science, engineering, medicine, law, social science and the humanities. These studies have been done for many reasons, including research to better understand professional communication patterns and the role this plays in their work. Some studies also focus on providing specific information to journal system participants such as publishers, librarians, other intermediaries and their funders. In this article we present a description of a little used but powerful method of observing reading by scientists (1). This method is designed to measure the amount of reading of specific journal articles and entire journals to complement exclusive observations of electronic journal hits and downloads, transaction logs, limited counts of citations to journals or articles and rough estimates of total amount of reading by professionals compared with total number of articles published.

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