Posted by: bluesyemre | July 18, 2019

Effects of Publisher Interface and #GoogleScholar on HTML and PDF Clicks: Investigating Paths That Inflate Usage by #KarenKohn


When considering canceling a journal subscription, librarians often want to predict future demand for the journal. Predictions are often based on past usage, measured by COUNTER Journal Report 1, yet many factors prevent this report from reflecting true usage. One factor is the double-counting that occurs when an article is viewed in both PDF and HTML formats. This study investigated four variables that could affect ratios of HTML article views to PDF downloads at the publisher level: the presence of a PDF link on the publisher’s table of contents page, the destination of links from article titles on this same page, the destination of sidebar links on a Google Scholar results screen, and links from article titles on the same screen. Using data on thirteen scholarly publishers, the author tested for correlations between the types of links offered and the ratio of HTML views to PDF downloads on each platform. Only title links in Google Scholar were found to have a significant correlation to HTML-to-PDF ratios, suggesting that platforms for which Google Scholar links directly to full-text could have elevated usage counts. The author explains how to calculate an adjustment factor to estimate true article views on these platforms.

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