AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 44. Computation and Data Analysis
Display, Tuesday, June 1, 1999, 10:00am-7:00pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[44.07] A Model for Readership of Astronomical Journals, From an Analysis of ADS Readership

M.J. Kurtz, M. Demleitner, G. Eichhorn, C.S. Grant, A. Accomazzi, S.S. Murray (SAO)

Astronomy is perhaps unique, in that it already has an integrated electronic information resource (ADS/Urania) which includes electronic access to nearly all the modern journal literature, and which is used by a large fraction of practitioners in the field, worldwide. The combined Urania logs, including the electronic journals and ADS, probably represent a fair sample, if not the majority, of the total readership in the field.

Using the ADS logs we develop a four component model for how the astronomical literature is read, as a function of the age of an article, R = N + C + IM + H, where the first three terms are exponentials with very different time constants, and the fourth is a low level constant.

R is the total readership; N is the readership of the latest issue of a journal; C is the readership of the current literature; I is the fraction of articles which are intermediate term interesting; M is the frequency of readership for interesting articles; so IM is the readership of intermediate term interesting articles; H is the readership of historical articles.

The overwhelming majority of ADS use can be described accurately by R = C + IM; where I = I0e-0.075T, T is the age of the article in years, and I0 is about 0.7, M = M0e-.015T, with M0 equal to 2.5 reads per month, and C = C0e-0.85T, where C0 is equal to 5 reads per month.

Note that after about 4 years, when the C term has become small, the main factor is I, whether an article is read at all, not M, how many times an article is read.

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