Early Mendeley readers correlate with later citation counts

Abstract

Counts of the number of readers registered in the social reference manager Mendeley have been proposed as an early impact indicator for journal articles. Although previous research has shown that Mendeley reader counts for articles tend to have a strong positive correlation with synchronous citation counts after a few years, no previous studies have compared early Mendeley reader counts with later citation counts. In response, this first diachronic analysis compares reader counts within a month of publication with citation counts after 20 months for ten fields. There are moderate or strong correlations in eight out of ten fields, with the two exceptions being the smallest categories (n = 18, 36) with wide confidence intervals. The correlations are higher than the correlations between later citations and early citations, showing that Mendeley reader counts are more useful early impact indicators than citation counts.

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Correspondence to Mike Thelwall.

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Thelwall, M. Early Mendeley readers correlate with later citation counts. Scientometrics 115, 1231–1240 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-018-2715-9

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Keywords

  • Mendeley
  • Citation analysis
  • Altmetrics
  • Alternative indicators