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Scholarly journal information-seeking and reading patterns of faculty at five US universities

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Surveys at five US universities show that faculty read articles for research, teaching, writing, and other purposes; the largest number of readings is for research. The time spent reading scholarly articles (an estimated average of 132 hours and 240 articles per year) demonstrates their value to faculty's work; over one-third of readings are reported to be absolutely essential, and to affect the reader's purpose in many ways, including helping to improve results, or to broaden or change the focus. Faculty prefer print for personal subscriptions, although library electronic collections provide a majority of readings, and most readings from library collections are from electronic sources; older articles are also more commonly from electronic library collections. Faculty use a variety of means to find articles, including browsing and searching, the latter particularly for research purposes, and to locate older articles. Faculty members who publish more, or who have won awards, read more articles on average than their less productive or successful colleagues.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-04-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    Learned Publishing articles are available free online to members of ALPSP and SSP.
    ALPSP members: log in to If you do not have a password contact [email protected]
    SSP members: log in to the Member Center using your membership username and password. Further information [email protected]

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