Posts tagged ‘readership’


Metrics, altmetrics and back-handed compliments

The readership statistics for my thesis, on the politics and ethics of cultural heritage work in conflict zones, have consistently (if unsurprisingly) shown that open access work is read more often and more widely than paywalled work. However, as suggested by my thesis’s slipping place amongst the institutionally-hosted e-prints of the University of Sussex (which include a lot of publications that inform policy), by the near-zero clicks on a link to an open access article that I’d added to my publications page but not advertised in a post, and by the article’s poor visibility on the web outside searches for its title, neither work’s existence nor its accessibility is enough.

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stats on the first anniversary of the electronic publication of my PhD thesis

It’s the first anniversary of the electronic publication of my PhD thesis!

I explained the value of online access in a post four months after my thesis went online. I just thought I would give an update on the numbers of readers and styles of reading (and the inability to identify trends in the subjects of reading).

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my thesis had 1000+ readers in the first four months of online access

Until recently, academics said that a doctoral thesis had a readership of five – the candidate, their supervisor, their two examiners and their mother. (I had two supervisors, but my mum didn’t read [skimmed] it (1). Still, one of my examiners’ supervisees read it, so I guess my thesis had a readership of six.)

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