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Reading practices in scholarly work: from articles and books to blogs

Elina Late (Unit of Information Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Carol Tenopir (College of Communication and Information, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Sanna Talja (Unit of Information Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Lisa Christian (College of Communication and Information, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 3 May 2019

Issue publication date: 3 May 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of reading in scholarly work among academics in Finland. This study analyzes readings from a variety of publication types including books, conference proceedings, research reports, magazines, newspapers, blogs, non-fiction and fiction.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was developed and distributed in Finland in 2016–2017 (n=528). Participants were asked their finding and use of scholarly information resources of all types.

Findings

Scholars read from a variety of publications. Different types of publications are read and used differently. Reading also varies between disciplines, ranks, work responsibilities and type of research performed.

Research limitations/implications

The study was a nationwide study of researchers in Finland; therefore, all findings are within the context of researchers in a single country. All results are self-reported; therefore, the authors assume but cannot be sure that respondents accurately recollect the specifics of their use of scholarly information.

Practical implications

The results of this study are relevant to publishers, research librarians, editors and others who serve consumers of scholarly information resources, design information products and services for those scholars, and seek to better understand the information needs and use of a variety of types of scholarly publications.

Originality/value

This study replicates previous studies in a variety of countries and provides a more up-to-date and single-country contextualized overview of how researchers find and use scholarly information in their work.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research project was funded in part by the Finnish Cultural foundation and the Finnish Fulbright-Nokia Foundation. Thanks to FinELib and librarians in Finnish universities for distributing the link to the questionnaire.

Citation

Late, E., Tenopir, C., Talja, S. and Christian, L. (2019), "Reading practices in scholarly work: from articles and books to blogs", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 75 No. 3, pp. 478-499. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-11-2018-0178

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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