Beyond Topic: How Readers Choose which Article to Read

Carol Tenopir
University of Tennessee
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When faced with numerous articles on their topic, how do scholars make the decision of which articles to read? Scholars consider many factors when judging the potential quality of articles and deciding which articles read. A recent project commissioned by the Publishing Research Consortium, studied over 400 academics from 12 countries to understand the trade-offs readers make when selecting an article to read. Readers must use clues to judge an article’s quality and to estimate what value it may have to them, this study looks at the relative ranking of a variety of these clues. And not all scholars make the same rankings – there are some differences based on subject disciopline, age, geographic location, and other demographics.