Twenty-five-year trends in information seeking and reading patterns of chemists

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Donald W. King, University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, Sara Fine Institute for Interpersonal Behavior & Technology, 600 IS Building, 135 North Bellefield Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 and Carol Tenopir, School of Information Sciences, College of Communication and Information, University of Tennessee, 1345 Circle Park Drive, Room 451, Knoxville, TN 37996-0341.
This paper presents evidence of chemists' information seeking and reading patterns observed by extracting chemists' survey responses from 42 readership surveys conducted over the past 25 years. In particular, trends show changes in how chemists learn about articles read, where they obtain them and the format of these articles. Five surveys conducted since 2000 show the appreciable changes brought about by the emergence of electronic journals. The survey results also show the usefulness and value of reading scholarly journal articles.