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Reading behaviour and electronic journals

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Studies from 1977 through 2001 demonstrate that scientists continue to read widely from scholarly journals. Reading of scholarly articles has increased to approximately 120-130 articles per person per year, with engineers reading fewer journal articles on the average and medical faculty reading more. A growing proportion of these readings come from e-prints and other separate copies. Most scientists in a discipline now use electronic journals at least part of the time, with considerable variations among disciplines. 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 high.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2002

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  • Editor in Chief: Pippa Smart
    North American Editor: Judy Luther

    Learned Publishing is the journal of the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, published in collaboration with the Society for Scholarly Publishing. The journal is published quarterly in January/April/July/October.

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    Learned Publishing will be moving to Wiley-Blackwell as of January 1, 2016. Please contact the publisher at for information on how to continue access to this title.

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