UoL Library Blog

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RIN Report: E-journals: their use, value and impact

Posted by selinalock on 23 April, 2009


Some interesting points and correlations are noted in the RIN report on E-journal: their use, value and impact

  • E-journals represent good value for money: UK Higher Ed spent £79.8m on e-journals in 2006/7 and they estimate that 102m articles were downloaded at an average cost of 80p per article.     
  • Journal expenditure correlates with use.
  • Journal use and expenditure correlate with research outcomes. 
  • Study used a combination of publishers’ logs (from ScienceDirect & Oxford Journals) and a “statistical database that relates libraryindicators, article downloads and measures of research success for all UK universities and colleges.”
  • Case study institutions: University of Aberdeen, Bangor University, University of Cambridge, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), University of Edinburgh, University of Manchester, Rothamsted Research, University of Strathclyde, University of Wales Swansea & University College London.
  • Case study subjects: Chemistry and chemical engineering, Earth and environmental sciences, Economics and econometrics, History, Life sciences and agriculture & Physics.
  • Very few searches were performed on the publisher platforms, most users came via a gateway service such as Google, Google Scholar & Pubmed.
  • The most successful research institutions seem to use gateways more and therefore spend very little time on the publisher site – just enough to download the relevant articles. Are they more efficient searchers?
  • “The evidence provided here suggests a tentative link between e-journal consumption and research outcomes.”

So, basically… don’t cut our journals budgets as they’re pretty important to research!!

There’s lots more details and pie charts in the actual report for those interested.

2 Responses to “RIN Report: E-journals: their use, value and impact”

  1. sarahw9 said

    I’m not surprised most people get there via Google / pubmed rather than publishers platforms – this begs alot of questions about our training.

  2. Not so much our training, but our presumption that people start with our pages. They don’t (I know I don’t unless I absolutly have to!).

    Of course going via Google means they’re more likely to access Open Access copies of papers!

    Did this report talk about OA or repositories and their impact on the journal sector much?

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