Does Mendeley provide evidence of the educational value of journal articles?
AbstractResearch articles seem to have direct value for students in some subject areas, even though scholars may be their target audience. If this can be proven to be true, then subject areas with this type of educational impact could justify claims for enhanced funding. To seek evidence of disciplinary differences in the direct educational uptake of journal articles, but ignoring books, conference papers, and other scholarly outputs, this paper assesses the total number and proportions of student readers of academic articles in Mendeley across 12 different subjects. The results suggest that whilst few students read mathematics research articles, in other areas, the number of student readers is broadly proportional to the number of research readers. Although the differences in the average numbers of undergraduate readers of articles varies by up to 50 times between subjects, this could be explained by the differing levels of uptake of Mendeley rather than the differing educational value of disciplinary research. Overall, then, the results do not support the claim that journal articles in some areas have substantially more educational value than average for academia, compared with their research value.
CitationThelwall, M. (2017), Does Mendeley provide evidence of the educational value of journal articles?. Learned Publishing, 30(2), pp 107-113. doi:10.1002/leap.1076
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Wiley-Blackwell in Learned Publishing on 07/12/2016, available online: https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1076 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
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