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How readers discover content in scholarly journals - the results from a large scale reader survey - ssp 2013


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How readers discover content in scholarly journals - the results from a large scale reader survey - ssp 2013

  1. 1. How Readers Discover Content in Scholarly Journals The results from a large scale reader survey Simon Inger, June 2013 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  2. 2. Researcher Student Librarian Publisher Site Search Engine Library Link Server Aggregator A&I Library Web Pages Peer Link Email Alert Aggregated Article Publisher’s Article
  3. 3. Survey on Reader Navigation • Mission: Gain a measure of the relative importance of all of these channels to inform publishers and information buyers • Survey of Readers following on from 2005 and 2008 studies • Much larger, with over 19,000 respondents globally • Over a year in planning, execution and analysis • Thanks to all our supporters, studied multiple subject areas
  4. 4. Supporters • BMJ Group • CABI • Cambridge University Press • IOP Publishing • Nature Publishing Group • Palgrave Macmillan • Publishing Technology • RSC Publishing • SAGE (response rates between 1.7% and 6.4%)
  5. 5. Limitations • It’s a survey • Survey was only in English • Survey used invitations from our supporters – not necessarily completely representative sample • Due to data privacy/data protection rules, all those invited to the survey via email will be quite highly engaged with the publisher (“opted in”)
  6. 6. What was studied? • Preference of discovery resources • Search engine preference • Device preference • App use • Publisher web site features • all broken down by region, income, job role, subject area, sector
  7. 7. Publisher web sites are not the dominant or even a highly significant discovery channel (in search) Google and Google Scholar aren’t as dominant as many believe for subscribers.
  8. 8. Is the increased reliance on library web pages for search in Humanities, Education Research and Social Sciences because these areas are less well funded and so cannot support A&Is? What can publishers in these areas do to support and enhance content discovery?
  9. 9. Have Humanities publishers become over- reliant on aggregators to make their content discoverable? Or is everyone else under-reliant?
  10. 10. Is this evidence that physicists want to search other content types at the same time? Is that also a valid reason for the difference in behaviour between social science and humanities?
  11. 11. Chemists seem to use ToC alerts just as much as search. What can other subject areas learn from this?
  12. 12. Discovery - journals Delivery Discovery
  13. 13. Discovery - books Delivery Discovery
  14. 14. Discovery - reference Delivery Discovery
  15. 15. How can the business models and delivery technology of eBooks change so that eBook discovery can be broadened and better integrated with the discovery of other content types?
  16. 16. Conclusions • Different readers start their search in different places for good reasons • Publishers need to support a wide range of discovery channels to suit their readers’ preferences • High volume referrers may not be the ones that bring your most important readers to your site (e.g. authors)
  17. 17. See the full study at
  18. 18. And by the way…… • Full report contains 90 charts and 123 pages in total • Analytical tool allows for breakdown of all results by all demographics and subject area. – Over 19000 respondents globally – Over a trillion meaningful chart combinations – Marketing to libraries, authors, societies – Assessing aggregator deals and inclusion in library search tools • See for details.