Reading and information seeking behavior of Japanese medical researchers in the era of the electronic journal and open access

Keiko Kurata, Shinji Mine, Tomoko Morioka, Yukiko Sakai, Shinya Kato, Shuichi Ueda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper describes the current state of electronic journal usage among Japanese medical researchers, and discusses the subsequent effect on users' decision whether to read articles on paper or on screen; from what types of full text source they obtain the articles. Methods: The names of 2,033 medical researchers affiliated with 80 medical schools in Japan were extracted and the researchers were surveyed. The questionnaire included questions on: 1) demographic features; 2) whether or not the researcher read the paper from print journals or electronic journals, and the search method used to obtain the most recently read articles; 3) the types of methods used to search for articles; 4) awareness and use of "open access" sites. Results: We received 651 responses (32.3%) between February and March 2007 and analyzed them. The major findings were: 1) 70% of the most recently read articles were electronic journal articles; 2) 80% of the electronic journal articles were provided by academic libraries, while 60% of print journal articles were from private subscription journals; 3) search engines were not used, but PubMed was used primarily to search either print or electronic journal articles; 4) in general, open access methods were not recognized by researchers as one possible route for obtaining the articles although PubMed Central constituted about 10% of the most recently read electronic journal articles; 5) no significant differences relating to article usage patterns were observed among age groups, however, large differences were found among fields of research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-90
Number of pages32
JournalLibrary and Information Science
Issue number61
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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