When are readership counts as useful as citation counts? Scopus versus Mendeley for LIS journals
AbstractIn theory, articles can attract readers on the social reference sharing site Mendeley before they can attract citations, so Mendeley altmetrics could provide early indications of article impact. This article investigates the influence of time on the number of Mendeley readers of an article through a theoretical discussion and an investigation into the relationship between counts of readers of, and citations to, 4 general library and information science (LIS) journals. For this discipline, it takes about 7 years for articles to attract as many Scopus citations as Mendeley readers, and after this the Spearman correlation between readers and citers is stable at about 0.6 for all years. This suggests that Mendeley readership counts may be useful impact indicators for both newer and older articles. The lack of dates for individual Mendeley article readers and an unknown bias toward more recent articles mean that readership data should be normalized individually by year, however, before making any comparisons between articles published in different years.
CitationMaflahi, N. and Thelwall, M. (2016), When Are Readers as Good as Citers for Bibliometrics? Scopus vs. Mendeley for LIS Journals. Journal of the Association of Information Science and Technology, 67: pp. 191-199. https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23369
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Association for Information Science and Technology in Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology on 08/01/2015, available online: https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.23369 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.