Re: The Number of Times a Scientific Article is Read

From: Andrew Odlyzko <>
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 10:21:07 +0100

From: Andrew Odlyzko <>
To: Ian Hickman <>

I was intrigued by your estimates for arXiv usage (posted to
the SEPTEMBER98-FORUM by Stevan Harnad, along with the response
from Donal King and Carol Tenopir. In my paper, "The rapid
evolution of scholarly communication," available at


I have estimates (pp. 11-12) that for the main Los Alamos
arXiv server, a paper gets downloaded an average of 150 times
during the first year, and 20-30 times per year in subsequent
years. If the Southampton statistics are different, that
would be very interesting in itself.

Andrew Odlyzko
AT&T Labs - Research voice: 973-360-8410 fax: 973-360-8178

From: Ian Hickman <>
The calculations that I performed are detailed here:
Ian Hickman,
Department of Electonics and Computer Science,
University of Southampton.
From: Andrew Odlyzko <>
Thank you very much for the pointer to your calculations.  I have
usually been assuming that the main  Los Alamos arXiv server gets
about half of the traffic, which would translate my estimates into
a typical paper being downloaded 300 times in the first year after
posting, and 40-60 times per year in subsequent years.  Since
you did not take the effect of decreasing usage with time into
account, your computations are pretty consistent with mine.
Andrew Odlyzko
Received on Mon Jan 24 2000 - 19:17:43 GMT

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