Program Session

2 - Daring to Dive Deep into the Citation Data: Going Head to Head with SciHub

Monday, May 29
1:20 PM - 1:35 PM
Room: 612

Objectives: To analyze the extent to which the library is fulfilling the information needs of its patrons in light of recent data showing heavy usage of SciHub in [our metro city] and specifically to gain insight into the percentage of referenced resources and content areas that were not made available to researchers through library funded subscriptions.

Methods: Using Scopus, we identified papers published by the institution’s health sciences faculty in each of the previous 5 years. Papers co-authored by researchers at other institutions were excluded in order to focus the analysis solely on information resources available to scholars at the target institution. The citations from the resulting set of publications were extracted to spreadsheets, where they were subjected to a data normalization process. Incomplete or obviously erroneous references were removed. The remaining set of citations was sorted alphabetically by journal title, then secondarily by citation year. Using a combination of data sources, including publisher entitlement reports, catalog records, and previously downloaded holdings reports, we compared each citation to the library’s collection at year of citation to determine if access to the cited resource was provided and paid for by the library.

Results: Published literature authored by University of Utah health sciences faculty between 2012 and 2016 yielded 119,794 citations for analysis.  The libraries had print or electronic access to 99,298 (82.89%) of these cited resources.  Another 9,220 (7.7%) were accessible from open access platforms, leaving only 11,084 (9.25%) citations that needed to be obtained from other sources, such as interlibrary loan, pay-per-view, or illegitimate sites such as Sci-Hub. Of the cited, but not provided, literature, 26% comes from backfile content whereas 74% comes from more recently published work. Identified collection gaps include the disciplines of Neurology, Cardiology, and Oncology.

Conclusion: A comprehensive evaluation of health sciences author citations over a 5-year period demonstrated that the vast majority were available from library-funded resources, thereby suggesting that the library’s collection has been adequately meeting the needs of researchers and scholars. This study provides valuable insight into faculty information-seeking behaviors and has implications for future collection development, service offerings, and funding priorities within the library.  Further study is needed to explore correlations between library-funded access to cited resources and other university metrics such as faulty recruitment and grant funding, as well as to investigate purported Sci-Hub activity in light of our findings.

Keywords: Citation analysis, scholarly publishing, library collections, Sci-Hub

Program Session

Christy Jarvis

Head of Information Resources and Digital Initiatives
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah

Christy Jarvis began working at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah in July 2011. She earned her master’s of library and information science from San Jose State University in May 2004. Christy obtained her bachelor of arts in history from the State University of New York, Buffalo in 2001.

Christy serves as the information resources librarian and is responsible for selecting, licensing, and providing access to the books, journals, and databases needed by the health sciences community. Prior to entering the health information field, Christy worked for many years as a law librarian where she was responsible for managing a wide array of technical service functions as well as providing reference services to patrons.


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Melissa L. Rethlefsen

Deputy Director / Associate Librarian
Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library
Salt Lake City, UT

Melissa L. Rethlefsen is the Deputy Director and Associate Librarian at the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah. She is also Section Director of the Systematic Review Core, Population Health Research Foundation for Discovery, Center for Clinical & Translational Science, University of Utah. Her research interests include systematic review methodology and reproducibility, bibliometrics, and history of medicine.


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2 - Daring to Dive Deep into the Citation Data: Going Head to Head with SciHub

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