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Croatian Scholarly Identity on Mendeley: the Case of the University of Zagreb

    Aim

    Academic Social Networking Sites (ASNS) have become one of the most important platforms for communication, connection and collaboration among the scholarly community. The aim of this study is to investigate the Croatian scholarly identity on Mendeley and to explore how researchers use Mendeley as an ASNS.

    Methods

    The Croatian Scientific Bibliography (CROSBI) covers scientific research and scientific publishing of Croatian researchers. A search was conducted in May 2019 in CROSBI selecting all eight scientific disciplines, the year 2018 and researchers with a unique research ID number in the Register of researchers of the Republic of Croatia from the University of Zagreb. In every research area CROSBI limits the results to the top 100 researchers according to their scientific productivity in 2018.

    Our sample consisted of 604 researchers (303 male and 301 female) in CROSBI divided by discipline: technical sciences (18.37 %), biotechnical sciences (16.56 %), social sciences (16.07 %), humanities (14.57 %), biomedicine and healthcare (13.75 %), natural sciences (10.26 %), interdisciplinary sciences (8.27 %) and arts (2.15 %). From this number (604), 37.9 % researchers have profiles on Mendeley.

    Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help organize an individuals’ research, help them collaborate with other users and upload their own scientific papers. It can be used to analyse personal readership trends and to discover the latest research, all the while providing intriguing features for developing one's professional research network and generating scholarly influence (1).

    Results and Discussion

    There are disciplinary differences in users and use of Mendeley; most of the researchers from technical sciences (58.55 %), biomedicine and healthcare (46.98 %), and biotechnical sciences (46 %) have profiles on Mendeley, while the users from interdisciplinary sciences (16 %) and humanities (13.63 %) use Mendeley less. More than 57 % (129) authors have an h-index (powered by Scopus) on their profile, of which one from biotechnical sciences had the highest h-index of 37, followed by one from biomedicine and healthcare with an h-index of 35. Like in the previous studies, this research also concludes that there are differences between users from various disciplines, so further research is needed to investigate the preferred type of information source that influences the selection of the reference manager (2,3). For the year 2018, it was found that Mendeley readership was in strong positive correlation with citation counts in almost all disciplines, which confirmed the results of previous studies (4,5). This might be used for scholarly impact assessment as early scientific impact indicator. Publications from biomedicine and healthcare and technical sciences, which comprised most of the sample, averaging 70.94 and 21.42 papers per author respectively, were high in readership as well as in citation counts. This can indicate that, similar to citations, the readership varies per field and coverage. The Mendeley Readership is one measure of how researchers engage with research on Mendeley, calculating how many Mendeley users added a particular article into their personal library. Following other researchers on Mendeley can lead to collaboration and knowledge sharing opportunities (6). The profiles from technical sciences have a wider research network, averaging between 1 and 2 followers per profile, following more than 1 scientist.

    Conclusion

    The results of the analysis of Mendeley profiles of the researchers from the University of Zagreb show that most of them are from technical sciences and biomedicine and healthcare. Those profiles have a wider Mendeley research network with large readership and high citation counts. Scientists from other disciplines should consider positive benefits of having profiles on Mendeley and other ASNS. It is important for researchers to manage their online scholarly identities and track their impact, increasing the visibility of their research and actively promoting their output, collaborating and enhancing networking opportunities.

    Limitations of this study: With time, more and more scientists and researchers may join Mendeley causing various changes in data, giving different results. There are also filtering limitations in CROSBI (the selected sample consisted of scientists who have submitted (not cited) most of the papers in 2018, which was limited to first 100 scientists per discipline).

    • Goranka MitrovićGoranka MitrovićNational and University Library in Zagreb

      Goranka Mitrović, senior librarian, works at the National and University Library in Zagreb, Croatia (NUL) since 1993. Her research interest… More →

    • Kristina RomićKristina RomićNational and University Library in Zagreb

      Kristina Romić works at the Acquisition Department, National and University Library in Zagreb, Croatia. She graduated from the Faculty of… More →

    • Lovela Machala PoplašenLovela Machala PoplašenUniversity of Zagreb

      Lovela Machala Poplašen is a head librarian at the Andrija Štampar Library, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of… More →