|Roger C. Schonfeld
Manager of Research
In the fast-changing electronic journals marketplace, publishers face questions about how best to distribute their content and librarians face questions about what content to acquire and under what terms. Ultimately, value is determined by the impact on scholarship and teaching. Usage statistics have been analyzed extensively in an effort to establish that e-journals bring with them higher value than print versions, although these usage data may reflect a massive increase in undergraduate journal use. The effect of digitization on scholarship, a critical value for many institutions, remains less well examined, notwithstanding its importance both for libraries and publishers as they navigate the transition to new models.
To fill this gap, a research project has been designed to address the question, when a journal issue is digitized, what effect is there on subsequent citations to its articles? After a brief discussion of the methodology and extensive data collection, most of the presentation will be devoted to a review of the findings and a discussion of their implications. Findings in three specific disciplines will be covered (history, economics/business, and biology) to explore how digitization may have a differential effect on scholarship by discipline. We will also examine how variables such as the age of content and the channels through which it is available may determine the effect of digitization. The findings should be of interest to librarians and content providers alike.