School of Information Sciences -- Faculty Publications and Other Works

Source Publication (e.g., journal title)

Proceedings of the Online Meeting

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Studies conducted over the last three decades demonstrate that scientists read widely from scholarly journals. Scientists use these journals primarily for research and current awareness. Reading of scholarly articles has increased to approximately 110 to 120 articles per person per year, and a growing amount of these readings come from preprints and other separate copies. Scientists are also reading a greater percentage of new articles. In fall 2000 we surveyed scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to repeat a survey conducted in 1984. The primary aim of the recent survey was to identify the impact of electronic/ digital journal alternatives on information seeking and reading patterns of scientists. nearly one-third of journal articles read now come from electronic journals or digital databases. Evidence suggests that scientists are reading from a broader range of journals than in the past, influenced by timely electronic publishing and by growth in bibliographic searching and interpersonal communication as means of identifying and locating articles. Although the scholarly journals system has changed dramatically in the past few decades, it is evident that the value scientists place on the information found in scholarly journal articles, whether electronic or print, remains the same.


Proceedings of the Online Meeting, New York, May 2001: pp. 469-481

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