Where publishers’ copyright rules permit, since last year I have been uploading green open access versions of peer reviewed research papers I have written or co-written to ORCA, Cardiff University’s digital repository. I have then been adding hyperlinks to these papers to research-related posts on this blog. To round this all off I’ve been using Twitter to draw attention to what I’ve been up to.
Having a WordPress blog means that I get to see which hyperlinks anonymous readers are following, and I know that some onward clicks are taking people to my open access articles. At the end of last week I asked colleagues managing ORCA if any tools existed to help me find out which of my papers have been downloaded, and when.
What I now have is access to an application allowing me to interrogate ORCA in all sorts of ways. So I know, for example, that full-text papers I have authored and saved to the repository have been downloaded 360 times between January 1st 2005 (the earliest date I can select) and today, July 3rd 2013. Two hundred and eighty eight of these downloads have taken place since November 24th 2012, this being the date I created this blog and first posted.
Here is a summary of my ORCA ‘eprints’ and the number of times each has been downloaded up to today:
All are papers I have specifically blogged about, and have subsequently flagged up on my Enduring posts page. I am therefore going to tentatively conclude that the approach I have taken to increase the visibility of my research is having an effect.
What I do not know is who has been downloading (and hopefully reading!) these articles, and for what purposes. I would like to think it has been a mixture of researchers, practitioners, managers, policymakers and service users. I also hope they have found what they have read to have been both interesting and useful.