Mendeley readership altmetrics for the social sciences and humanities: Research evaluation and knowledge flows
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Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 65 (8): 1627--1638 (2014)

Although there is evidence that counting the readers of an article in the social reference site, Mendeley, may help to capture its research impact, the extent to which this is true for different scientific fields is unknown. In this study, we compare Mendeley readership counts with citations for different social sciences and humanities disciplines. The overall correlation between Mendeley readership counts and citations for the social sciences was higher than for the humanities. Low and medium correlations between Mendeley bookmarks and citation counts in all the investigated disciplines suggest that these measures reflect different aspects of research impact. Mendeley data were also used to discover patterns of information flow between scientific fields. Comparing information flows based on Mendeley bookmarking data and cross-disciplinary citation analysis for the disciplines revealed substantial similarities and some differences. Thus, the evidence from this study suggests that Mendeley readership data could be used to help capture knowledge transfer across scientific disciplines, especially for people that read but do not author articles, as well as giving impact evidence at an earlier stage than is possible with citation counts.
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