This report is the output of a large scale survey about journal content discovery conducted during May, June and July of 2012. Over 19,000 responses were received from all over the world from readers in many different sectors, job roles and subject areas.
The research repeats two earlier studies performed in 2005 by Scholarly Information Strategies (for whom the authors were consultants) and in 2008 by the authors. The subtle shifts in reader preferences over time provide a valuable insight into reader navigation, the features that readers find useful in publisher web sites, and the role and effectiveness of library technologies. The 2012 survey was also updated to include questions about search engine preference and app use.
Given the number of responses received, this report goes further than the previous two in that it provides an insight into how readers in different sectors, regions, subject areas, and job roles behave. There is a large amount of comparative data included in the report and many more comparisons are available in the analytic tool that is available separately.
This study aims to inform publishers, libraries, intermediaries and academics which resources the world’s consumers prefer to use to discover scholarly content.