On the relationship between the number of references and the number of readers of scientific literature in the field of Earth sciences

ISSN 2307-2091 (Print) 

ISSN 2500-2414 (Online)


K. S. Ivanov, O. E. Pogromskaya / News of the Ural State Mining University. 2021. Issue 1(61), pp. 171-174



The main scientometric indicator is the number of links to scientific publications of a particular author, since it is
the links that show the degree of demand for a particular scientific publication by the scientific community. All other
indicators, such as the Hirsch-index, are calculated based on the number of links. But also important is the number of
readers of the scientific work. Previously, based on proxy data (such as the number of books published, the number of
links in reports, expert assessments, etc.), we assumed that the ratio between the number of links and the number of
readers is about 1:10. In other words, if there are 20 links to an article or book, about 200 people read it. In this article,
we made the first calculation of the ratio between the number of links and the number of readers, using the databases of
eLibrary and the scientific library of the Zavaritsky Institute of Geology and Geochemistry. The library has over 86,000
publications. The main subject of scientific literature: tectonics, Geochemistry, Mineralogy, petrography, stratigraphy,
paleontology, Geology of ore minerals, hydrogeology, research of the deep structure of the Earth, search and exploration
of minerals. To determine the ratio between the number of references and the number of readers, we randomly selected
monographs published in 1998–2012 years. The result is that out of the number of readers of publications in the field of
Earth Sciences, an average of 14 % refer to them, i. e. every seventh of those who read them. And the number of readers
on average is only 3 times the number of links. Another phenomenon was discovered: many of the researchers refer
to a favorite publication dozens of times. And this phenomenon significantly distorts scientometric calculations and
indicators. In order to exclude the distorting effect of this phenomenon, it would be useful to introduce a new criterion
– the number of researchers who referred to a particular publication, or to all the works of a scientist. Since it is obvious
that the contribution to science will be greater for the scientist whose works were cited, for example, 1000 researchers (1
time each), than the one whose works were quoted by 5 people, but 200 times each. We hope that our results will be tested
by other researchers using materials from other libraries and other fields of knowledge.
Keywords: scientometric indicator, number of links, publications in the field of Earth Sciences, base of eLibrary.


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