Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Friday, May 16, 2003

Carol Tenopir and five co-authors, Patterns of Journal Use by Scientists through Three Evolutionary Phases, D-Lib Magazine, May 2003. Abstract: "Access to electronic journals and articles has involved three system phases: an early phase following introduction of electronic journals; an evolving phase in which a majority of scientific journals are available in electronic format, new features are added to some journals, and some individual articles are made available through preprint archives, author web sites, etc; and an advanced phase in which searching capabilities, advanced features, and individual articles are integrated in a complete system along with full text of core journals available back to their origin. This article provides some evidence of how scientists' information seeking and reading patterns are affected by using journals in these three system phases. Readership surveys of scientists shed some light on how the three phases affected use, usefulness and value of articles read; where articles are obtained; the format of articles read; how they were found; and the age of articles read."

Excerpt from the conclusion: "The evolution of systems may result in increase article use since the average amount of reading by scientists surveyed increases through the evolutionary phases. Usefulness of the information read and indicators of the value of articles read are relatively stable across the phases, indicating that information content may not change significantly. However, overall usefulness and value to scientists may be increasing since more articles are read as the systems evolve."