Mendeley reader counts have been proposed as early indicators for the impact of academic publications. The purpose of this paper is to assess whether there are enough Mendeley readers for research evaluation purposes during the month when an article is first published.
Average Mendeley reader counts were compared to the average Scopus citation counts for 104,520 articles from ten disciplines during the second half of 2016.
Articles attracted, on average, between 0.1 and 0.8 Mendeley readers per article in the month in which they first appeared in Scopus. This is about ten times more than the average Scopus citation count.
Other disciplines may use Mendeley more or less than the ten investigated here. The results are dependent on Scopus’s indexing practices, and Mendeley reader counts can be manipulated and have national and seniority biases.
Mendeley reader counts during the month of publication are more powerful than Scopus citations for comparing the average impacts of groups of documents but are not high enough to differentiate between the impacts of typical individual articles.
This is the first multi-disciplinary and systematic analysis of Mendeley reader counts from the publication month of an article.
Thelwall, M. (2017), "Are Mendeley reader counts high enough for research evaluations when articles are published?", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 69 No. 2, pp. 174-183. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-01-2017-0028Download as .RIS
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