Are citation data a valid measure of journal use? An empirical examination in an academic context
Proceedings of ISSI 2005: 10th International Conference of the International Society for Scientometrics and Informetrics
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Citation and journal use data have both been used as tools to determine the quality and usefulness of a journal title, especially in academic libraries. However, both of these tools have been criticized for not accurately representing the full spectrum of journal use. With the increased popularity of online journals and the emergence of electronic journal usage data from publishers, there is another tool to potentially improve measurement of the use of journals. This study aims to determine whether these new electronic usage data correlate with more established print usage data and citation data, and to examine whether there is a difference between local citation data (citations by users whom the library serves) and a more global citation measure such as the journal impact factor, in measuring journal use. The findings show that the electronic journal usage measure looked at in this study correlates with the traditional print usage measure. In addition, it was found that local citation data are a valid measure of journal usage but that the more global measure of impact factors are not as valid.