Evaluation of Usage and Acceptance of Electronic Journals

Results of an Electronic Survey of Max Planck Society Researchers including Usage Statistics from Elsevier, Springer and Academic Press (Full Report)

(Notes and References)

  1. See The Information and Communication Commission of the German Learned Societies, <>. Back to text of story.
  2. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is currently supporting three project-oriented studies of areas of integration of electronic journals in library offerings. See three German papers describing these studies at (by Hildegard Schäffler, Madeleine Schröter, and Heinz-Peter Berg). Back to text of story.
  3. See <>. Back to text of story.
  4. See <>. Back to text of story.
  5. The Max Planck Society web site provides a complete list of all the Max Planck Institutes, Working Groups and Research Centers at <>. For purposes of simplicity, the abbreviation "MPG" of the German name "Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V." of the Max Planck Society will be used in this text. Back to text of story.
  6. A Nobel prize was awarded to Max Planck himself (in 1918) long before the Society was named after him. Since then, 20 Nobel prizes have been awarded to researchers from the Max Planck Society and its predecessor research society, the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. See <>. Back to text of story.
  7. The Task Force also included additional delegates from the libraries and information provision services in the sections and further representatives from the General Administration. See "Acknowledgements" at the end of the full report. Back to text of story.
  8. See Uta Siebeky: Der HelpDesk des Fritz-Haber-Instituts der MPG und des Max-Planck-Instituts für Molekulare Genetik - ein internetbasiertes Informationssystem zum elektronischen Angebot der Bibliotheken. In: 21. Online-Tagung der DGI: Aufbruch ins Wissensmanagement. Frankfurt am Main, 18. bis 20. Mai 1999. Proceedings, hrsg. v. Ralph Schmidt. Frankfurt am Main: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Informationswissenschaft und Informationspraxis (DGI), 1999, S. 110-116. Back to text of story.
  9. For more information on the Max Planck Society Task Force on "Information Provision" in the Max Planck Society, see <>. The Task Force members considered various aspects of the transition to electronic scholarly information, including requirements for an access system, for archiving information, for negotiations including formulation of a model license, business and charging mechanisms, changes in existing information provision and services, and the evaluation of the use and acceptance of electronic journals discussed in this paper. Back to text of story.
  10. This percentage includes an approximate adjustment for the non-researchers in the biomedical section who filled out the questionnaire. This applies also to the following percentages for the CPT and humanities section. The figures representing the total numbers of researchers and visiting scholars and fellows reflect the status in the MPG in early 1999. Back to text of story.
  11. Patricia Sabosik (Vice President & General Manager of ScienceDirect) related her experience in various research institutions where electronic biomedical journals had seen greater acceptance than other disciplines. Back to text of story.
  12. Although 5.48% of the respondents were not researchers or visiting scholars and fellows (doctoral candidates, etc.), it can be assumed that these respondents are library staff, computer staff, or student support staff who carry out searches and other evaluative tasks for senior researchers. Thus, although not all respondents are researchers, their opinion is valid for these questions. The exact number of researchers and visiting scholars and fellows have been added for the purpose of definitive comparison. Back to text of story.
  13. Such services include information on a newly published issue of a desired journal title, subject-oriented article in all journals according to the personal interest profile of the researcher, articles by a specific author or institution, new titles in the publishers' offering, etc. Back to text of story.
  14. This is not only important criteria for an access system, but also an organizational aspect inasmuch as it indicates how the cost allocation, justification for purchasing an article or choice of vendors without subject knowledge or interdisciplinary knowledge of the offerings (especially if the same article is possibly available from various vendors with different pricing structures) in the individual institutes or in the MPG generally are dealt with. Back to text of story.
  15. This list is only a selection of the wishes expressed in the verbal comments to this question. Back to text of story.
  16. Since the MPI for Molecular Genetics and the Fritz Haber Institute share computer services, they also share one IP-range and this range is divided between the two Institutes in such a way that it is not possible to attribute use statistics based on IP-numbers to the individual Institutes with complete accuracy. Added together, the two transaction sums for these two Institutes correspond to the entire use of the two, but it is virtually impossible to distinguish exact use of one Institute or the other. This makes certain other statistics difficult as the MPI for Molecular Genetics is in the biomedical section and the Fritz Haber Institute is in the chemical-physical-technical section. Back to text of story.
  17. See Note 16 above. Back to text of story.
  18. See Note 16 above. Back to text of story.
  19. See Note 16 above. Back to text of story.
  20. See Note 16 above. Back to text of story.
  21. Two section-oriented information retrieval units exist in the MPG: for the biomedical section in the MPI for Biochemistry and for the chemical-physical-technical section in the Max Planck Institutes in Stuttgart. In the humanities section, there is no special unit for information retrieval. However, as in the other sections, various librarians and subject specialists in the Institute libraries do equivalent online database searching and information provision for the researchers. Back to text of story.
  22. See <>. Back to text of story.

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