May 20, 2003

The newest issue of D-Lib is out and as usual there are several very interesting arcticles included. Most interesting is "Patterns of Journal Use by Scientists through Three Evolutionary Phases" by Carol Tenopir and several others. This article presents the results of several years of research into patterns of scholarly communication among scientists and basically makes the case that the world is changing. Personal subscriptions are down, online reading is up, more and more scientists are using online searching and citations to find articles. But most interestingly, the total amount of reading done by scientists is going up as they get access to online journals. If it is easier for them to find and retrieve information, they will retrieve more of it. And, it seems that they are still very interested in the peer-reviewed journal literature as the research did not indicate a large number of articles read from personal web sites. IMHO, this last finding may be the one to change most drastically over the next little while. If institutional repositories, eprint servers and google catch on like I think they will, I thnk we'll see more and more researchers finding their information where it is most convenient and fastest, not where it is most pre-approved.

Also of interest, but without accompanying rant:

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