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      Social reference managers and their users: A survey of demographics and ideologies

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          Abstract

          Altmetric indicators are increasingly present in the research landscape. Among this ecosystem of heterogeneous indicators, social reference managers have been proposed as indicators of broader use of scholarly work. However, little work has been done to understand the data underlying this indicator. The present work uses a large-scale survey to study the users of two prominent social reference managers—Mendeley and Zotero. The survey examines demographic characteristics, usage of the platforms, as well as attitudes towards key issues in scholarly communication, such as open access, peer review, privacy, and the reward system of science. Results show strong differences between platforms: Mendeley users are younger and more gender-balanced; Zotero users are more engaged in social media and more likely to come from the social sciences and humanities. Zotero users are more likely to use the platform’s search functions and to organize their libraries, while Mendeley users are more likely to take advantage of some of the discovery and networking features—such as browsing papers and groups and connecting with other users. We discuss the implications of using metrics derived from these platforms as impact indicators.

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          Most cited references15

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          Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network.

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            Tweeting biomedicine: An analysis of tweets and citations in the biomedical literature

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              Validating online reference managers for scholarly impact measurement

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Data curationRole: Formal analysisRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: MethodologyRole: Writing – original draft
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: ConceptualizationRole: Funding acquisitionRole: InvestigationRole: MethodologyRole: Project administrationRole: SupervisionRole: Writing – original draftRole: Writing – review & editing
                Role: Editor
                Journal
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                plos
                plosone
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
                1932-6203
                11 July 2018
                2018
                : 13
                : 7
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Department of Information and Library Science, School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America
                [2 ] Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America
                [3 ] École de bibliothéconomie et des sciences de l’information, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
                [4 ] Observatoire des sciences et des technologies (OST), Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie (CIRST), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada
                [5 ] Department of Informatics, School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, United States of America
                KU Leuven, BELGIUM
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Article
                PONE-D-18-02604
                10.1371/journal.pone.0198033
                6040870
                29995889
                4f502153-d082-4e05-8cd6-0b45ece7fe8a
                © 2018 Chen et al

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 12, Tables: 1, Pages: 22
                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000879, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation;
                Award ID: G2014325
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: funder-id http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000208, Institute of Museum and Library Services;
                Award ID: RE0214002314
                Award Recipient :
                This work was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Grant #G­2014­3­25 to VL and the Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant # RE­02­14­0023­14 to CRS. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Categories
                Research Article
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Assessment
                Bibliometrics
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Assessment
                Altmetrics
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Communications
                Social Communication
                Social Media
                Computer and Information Sciences
                Network Analysis
                Social Networks
                Social Media
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Social Networks
                Social Media
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Social Research
                Social Sciences
                Sociology
                Communications
                Social Communication
                Social Sciences
                People and Places
                Population Groupings
                Professions
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Design
                Survey Research
                Surveys
                Custom metadata
                The Mendeley/Zotero survey data files are publicly available at http://hdl.handle.net/2022/22043 from IUScholarWorks, an open access institutional repository service provided by the Indiana University Libraries for disseminating and preserving the intellectual output of Indiana University scholars.

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                Uncategorized

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