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Electronic journals: are they really used?

David Nicholas (CIBER, UCL Centre for Publishing, University College London, London, UK)
Paul Huntington (CIBER, UCL Centre for Publishing, University College London, London, UK)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 1 April 2006




To quantify the usage of electronic journals as an aid to making judgements on the use of document supply.


A detailed analysis was made of the use of OHIOLink as well as the Blackwell Synergy, ScienceDirect, emeraldinsight, and OUP databases by CIBER at University College London.


Many more people are accessing electronic journals than was previously the case in a print environment. Users are searching more widely as linking becomes easier and abstracts are becoming increasingly popular.

Research limitations/implications

More research could be done on the use of abstracts together with further evaluation of usage at article level by title.

Practical implications

Massive usage of the databases analysed is significantly affecting the use of information by researchers.


This article presents an example of “deep log” analysis that sheds valuable light on the actual as distinct from perceived use of electronic full text databases



Nicholas, D. and Huntington, P. (2006), "Electronic journals: are they really used?", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 74-77.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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