عنوان مقاله [English]
Objective: This research investigates the citation, usage, reach and readership of scholarly books published by Springer Nature in four areas of Pure Sciences, Engineering, Medical Sciences, and Social Sciences within three years after publication.
Methodology: The current study is a descriptive – correlational research which is conducted using citation, altmetrics and usage-based indicators. The sample of study is comprised of 1184 electronic books from Springer published in 2013. The data was collected from Bookmetrix, Springer’s platform for monitoring the performance of books, which shows the number of citations in Crossref, the number of downloads in SpringerLink, the number of mentions in social media tools and the number of bookmarks in Mendeley. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS.
Findings: Results of the study revealed that Springer books in pure sciences were more frequently cited than the other three subject areas. Like citation data, download statistics varied between scientific areas and the highest download count belonged to engineering books. Results showed that books in medicine received more social media attentions compared with those in social sciences, pure sciences and engineering. Regarding Mendeley bookmarks, the engineering books demonstrated the highest number of bookmarks among four studied research areas.All the studied books have been downloaded at-least once, while the proportion of bookmarked, cited and mentioned books was 90.2%, 67.9% and 19.5%, respectively. The highest number of downloads in all four subject areas was occurred 6 to 18 months after publication time. The results of running a series of correlation tests revealed statistically significant and positive associations among the number of citations, downloads, mentions and bookmarks in all four disciplines. Findings revealed that books with more download statistics also accumulated higher citation counts. The relationship between citations and downloads could be bilateral. On the one hand, early download may lead to more citations. On the other hand, documents may gain more attention and be downloaded because they acquire more visibility when they are cited.
Conclusion: The results of the current study provide evidence that usage-based and social media-based metrics could act as the complement of traditional citation-based measures for assessing the impact of books and book chapters in a multidimensional way. This study also provides insights into different types of impact that scholarly books have and how they are being cited, downloaded and discussed in book-oriented and article-oriented disciplines. Librarians’ and researchers’ familiarity with alternative metrics are mandatory.