Chemists on-line: Analysis of usage statistics and referral URLs of ACS electronic journals


Philip M. Davis, Collection Development, Cornell University, Mann Library, Ithaca, NY 14850-2501 and Leah R. Solla, Physical Sciences Library, Cornell University, 293 Clark Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-2501.
Publishers and librarians are increasingly interested in measuring the use of electronic journals. Most usage reports, however, provide only the aggregate number of article requests, and tell us very little about individual user behavior. This presentation will summarize two recent studies using IP-level data to represent individual user behavior. The first study describes the distribution of ACS article downloads over a university community, and suggests that the majority of requests come from a small number of users. The second study details how scientists were referred to ACS articles using a transaction log analysis and indicates that while individuals tend to use few methods to link to articles, collectively researchers utilize many different pathways to access the same literature. These studies represent non-obtrusive methods to better understand the information seeking and usage behavior of chemists.