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Patterns of use of electronic journals

Ken Eason (Departmemt of Human Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics LE11 3TU)
Sue Richardson (HUSAT Research Institute, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics LE11 3TU)
Liangzhi Yu (Department of Information Resource Management, Nankai University, Tianjin, PR China 300071)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 1 October 2000



On the basis of a twenty‐two month transaction log of SuperJournal and using K‐Means cluster analysis, this paper classifies a spectrum of user behaviour with electronic journals into a typology of eight categories of user (or eight patterns of use): the searcher, the enthusiastic user, the focused regular user, the specialised occasional user, the restricted user, the lost user, the exploratory user and the tourist. It examines the background and experience with SuperJournal of each type of user to illuminate its formation. The examination shows that the contents (both coverage and relevance) and ease of use of a system as they were perceived by the user were the most significant factors affecting patterns of use. Users’ perceptions of both factors were affected by a range of intervening factors such as discipline, status, habitual approach towards information management, availability of alternative electronic journal services, purpose of use, etc. As any service is likely to attract a great variety of users, so will it lead to differing patterns of use. This paper demonstrates the need for a service to meet the requirements of users with these varied patterns.



Eason, K., Richardson, S. and Yu, L. (2000), "Patterns of use of electronic journals", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 56 No. 5, pp. 477-504.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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