Cite this Article
Who Reads PLOS Research Articles? Extensive Analysis of the Mendeley Readership Categories of PLOS Journals. Journal of Scientometric Research. 2020;9(3):245-252. doi:10.5530/jscires.9.3.32..
Altmetrics have been used as a complementary or alternative to traditional citation metrics, offering alternative ways to measure societal impact and public engagement with scientific publications. Conceivably, journal articles are first read by stakeholders in different social referencing platforms like Mendeley then those are used as a citable document for future work. Thus, the readership of scientific journals is an informative indicator for different stakeholders involved in scholarly practice. The purpose of this paper is to examine the readership patterns and characteristics of PLOS journals. This article compares Scopus citation counts and Mendeley readership counts for the articles of seven PLOS journals that were published in 2017. The Mendeley The Mendeley API in Webometric Analyts software was used to obtain Mendeley readership data. The result shows that Scopus citations are positively and strongly correlated with readership counts in Mendeley for all investigated journals. Most of the readers are Ph.D. students and master’s students. The USA has registered as the highest number of readers counting PLOS journals. We observed that PLOS articles tend to attract more readers than citations. Therefore, the result suggests that readership data should be accepted as an impact indicator for all PLOS journals.